Terrorism continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security. The COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified the terrorism threat –acting as a catalyst for new emerging threats and exacerbating old ones.
In December 2020, during its 75th session, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution on measures to eliminate terrorism. The resolution requests the UN and the international community to increase measures against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
The resolution specifically requests UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch to continue its efforts to enhance, through its mandate, the capabilities of the United Nations in the prevention of terrorism, and recognizes, in the context of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), its role in assisting States in becoming parties to and implementing the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, including the most recent among them, and in strengthening international cooperation mechanisms in criminal matters related to terrorism, including through national capacity-building upon request.
It is imperative that countries have access to the relevant tools and resources to effectively mitigate and counter these very threats. UNODC has a track record of delivering counterterrorism technical assistance to Member States including training of over 30,000 criminal justice officials since 2003. UNODC is now the most prolific provider of counterterrorism technical assistance within the UN.
UNODC operates in 150 locations across the globe. This network is comprised of experts on crime who work directly with frontline officers, allowing them to garner specialized knowledge and expertise on the ground. UNODC is then able to acclimate to the local context and offer tailored assistance to meet the unique needs of each Member State.
The pandemic rendered in-person technical assistance temporarily obsolete. Exercising agility and flexibility to meet the needs of Member States remains imperative. To avoid the disruption of critical support to Member States, UNODC transferred the delivery of its counterterrorism technical assistance onto its Online Counter-Terrorism Learning Platform – training over 1,000 criminal justice officials since the onset of the health crisis.