UNODC is the key United Nations entity with the mandate and expertise to deliver counter-terrorism legal technical assistance to Member States for adherence, legislative incorporation and capacity building on the international legal instruments against terrorism, including the seven instruments which deal with chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism to varying degrees.
The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) is one such essential instrument for States to strengthen their criminal justice systems and effectively prevent and combat certain conduct involving nuclear or other radioactive material.
There are several key synergies between ICSANT and other instruments that UNODC is mandated to promote, including the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (A/CPPNM).
As part of these efforts, UNODC contributed to a high-level meeting on facilitating adherence to the A/CPPNM in Africa organized by the African Center for Science and International Security (AFRICSIS) which took place in Accra on 16-17 February. The meeting brought together key stakeholders, both in-person and virtually, to discuss the benefits of adherence to A/CPPNM and to increase awareness of the other instruments in the field of nuclear security, including ICSANT. There are currently 120 States Parties to ICSANT, including 25 in Africa.
In addition to UNODC, experts from the UN Security Council 1540 Group of Experts, the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) Office of Legal Affairs and Division of Nuclear Security, the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the Ghanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Atomic Energy Commission presented at the meeting.
The event included representatives from the following African States: Burundi, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia (Republic of), Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Togo, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
UNODC presented on its work to promote universalization and implementation of A/CPPNM, synergies with ICSANT and broader technical and legislative assistance services of UNODC’s CBRN Terrorism Prevention Programme. UNODC also took the opportunity to hold bilateral meetings with a number of the Member States to discuss further avenues for UNODC technical and legislative assistance.
UNODC’s participation in the workshop took place within the framework of the project “Union support to promote universalization and effective implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism” funded by the European Union.