It is no secret that terrorists and other criminals are actively seeking nuclear and other radioactive material for malicious purposes, and the nature of this threat is transnational. The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT), as well as other international legal instruments on nuclear security such as the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and its 2005 Amendment, are essential tools for preventing and suppressing terrorist and other criminal conduct involving nuclear or other radioactive material and improving nuclear security worldwide. These instruments can benefit all States Parties by facilitating international cooperation, including assistance with nuclear forensics, exchange of information through competent authorities and liaison points, prosecution and extradition.
On 30 May–1 June 2023, UNODC co-organized the tabletop exercise “Snow Leopard” in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, which aimed to identify and demonstrate effective regional and international cooperation mechanisms for investigating and prosecuting radiological and nuclear crimes. The exercise was a joint product of the Governments of Tajikistan, the Netherlands, Romania, and the United States of America, in cooperation with UNODC and UNOCT. It brought together over 50 experts from border control, customs, regulatory authorities, law enforcement, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, and other relevant agencies from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Romania, Tajikistan, Türkiye, Turkmenistan, the United States of America and Uzbekistan as well as from UNODC, INTERPOL and other UN organizations.