There is enormous potential for Member States to use new technologies and innovation in their responses to prevent terrorism in effective and accountable ways. In September 2018, the UN Secretary-General issued a strategy to define how the United Nations system will support the use of new technologies to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and to facilitate their alignment with the values enshrined in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the norms and standards of international law.
As a response to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries limited the number of open courts and prioritized trials of serious crimes. This resulted in unprecedented backlog of cases and, in some jurisdictions, longer pre-trial detention.
To support Member States to overcome these challenges, UNIDC developed a package of assistance in partnership with the International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ). This assistance focuses on ensuring the responsible and effective use of technological applications to enable remote access to case management and trial proceedings.
This initiative aims at making criminal justice institutions more resilient to unexpected challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, it also improves access to justice and increases the efficiency of the administration of criminal justice.
With a specific focus on terrorism, UNODC has also been supporting counter-terrorism investigations and prosecutions with cooperation on digital evidence.