UNODC Promotes the International Legal Framework against Illicit Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials

The UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch (UNODC/TPB) participated in a regional dialogue on nuclear smuggling prosecutions, organized by the United States Department of State in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on 1-3 April 2015.

The workshop aimed to strengthen the capacity of Central Asian countries in countering nuclear terrorism by enhancing their understanding of the legal aspects related to the prevention, investigation, prosecution and adjudication of radiological and nuclear smuggling-related crimes. Participants, including regional practitioners and policy makers, were provided with a forum to identify obstacles to the effective handling of criminal cases, and discuss future regional and international collaboration in nuclear trafficking matters.

Forty criminal justice officials from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated in the workshop. During the sessions, experts from the United States and INTERPOL gave presentations outlining international experiences in criminal cases involving illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials, as well as good practices in this area. UNODC/TPB highlighted the international legal instruments related to nuclear terrorism, and presented mechanisms to enhance inter-agency collaboration both at the national and international levels. 

Through a practical tabletop exercise, participants analyzed a case to identify elements that contribute to the successful investigation and prosecution of smuggling offences involving nuclear and radioactive materials.

Workshop facilitators provided participants with practical recommendations on how to counter future nuclear and radioactive smuggling at the regional level.