Greetings to all of you, partners and practitioners.
I am very pleased to have the chance to address you on the timely and important topic of electronic evidence.
The internet is no longer a new frontier. For many, digital actions and interactions have become a natural extension of everyday life.
The pandemic and its restrictions have only reinforced this reality.
The growth of the digital space has afforded many opportunities. It has also exposed new risks, as criminals and terrorists increasingly use the internet to commit and facilitate their illicit actions.
Countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes has emerged as a particularly urgent priority.
Electronic evidence is a central piece of this puzzle.
Criminal justice institutions must be equipped with the capacities to use such evidence to detect, investigate, attribute, and prosecute terrorism offenses.
They must also cooperate closely and act collectively, to address the borderless, digital nature of the threat.
At the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, we are stepping up our efforts to empower practitioners in leveraging electronic evidence.
We have developed an updated practical guide, and established a dedicated hub for the topic on our online SHERLOC portal.
We are also facilitating public-private sector cooperation, by providing a comprehensive mapping of contact details and legal request policies, and developing model request forms for preservation and voluntary disclosure of data.
We are grateful to count on strong collaboration with partners such as the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, Europol, EuroJust, and the European Judicial Network, in our efforts to support Member States in countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.
I thank them for joining us today, and for our longstanding cooperation.
Digital is indeed the new normal. By working together across borders, sectors, and agencies, we can make both the digital and offline worlds safer from terrorism.