Terrorism and violent extremism are severe and evolving threats to international peace, security, human rights, and sustainable development, inflicting unimaginable suffering on victims, families, and communities.
While the magnitude and complexity of the challenges facing States and others in their efforts to combat terrorism can be significant, ensuring that all national counter-terrorism is law-based and respects human rights norms is essential to uphold the credibility and legitimacy of public authorities and to prevent further radicalization to violence.
The Global Programme on Preventing and Countering Terrorism (2022-2027) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) supports Member States to prevent and counter terrorism through inclusive strategies, policies, and legal means, with a focus on the safety and protection of people.
In support of the UN Secretary General’s Common Agenda, the Programme promotes a strengthened social contract between Governments and their people anchored in human rights, and supporting core principles such as solidarity, accountability and equality.
The Programme applies these core principles through its commitment to leave no one behind, and aiming to reduce inequalities that make people more vulnerable to terrorism and its effects. This Programme integrates preventative measures as main change enabler and focuses on empowering individuals and communities to lead fulfilling lives through reduced risks associated with terrorism. This includes the active and equal participation of women and girls and youth engagement in preventing and countering terrorism.
This Programme succeeds UNODC’s Global Programme Strengthening the Legal Regime Against Terrorism (2003-2022), through which UNODC has assisted 70 Member States per year on average and trained more than 37,000 officials in total.
The development of this new Global Programme has been informed by all the recommendations of the final independent evaluation (conducted in 2021) of its predecessor, as well as input from more than 70 Member States, UN entities, regional and civil society organizations, academic institutions, and private sector entities. This includes youth-led global and grass-roots organizations, with equal representation between male and female interlocutors.
Since 2003, the UN General Assembly and Security Council have adopted approximately 90 resolutions mandating UNODC to support Member States with the international legal framework against terrorism, as well as crime prevention and criminal justice responses to terrorism. The most comprehensive resolution reflecting our current mandate was adopted by the General Assembly on Technical assistance provided by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime related to counter-terrorism.
This Programme is the primary vehicle to implement the thematic area of preventing and countering terrorism of the UNODC Strategy (2021- 2025). Further, the Programme supports the region-specific strategic visions developed by UNODC, currently including Africa, Latin America and Nigeria, concerning preventing and countering terrorism.
The Programme pursues three outcomes, based on UNODC‘s core mandates related to the international legal instruments against terrorism, crime prevention and criminal justice:
1. Increased Member States’ adherence to, and implementation of, the international legal framework against terrorism:
2. Increased development and implementation of terrorism prevention measures that are partnership-based, gender-responsive and youth-empowering:
3. Increased effectiveness of criminal justice institutions to address issues related to preventing and countering terrorism, in line with international human rights obligations, and through international cooperation in criminal matters:
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