While a nuclear terrorist attack may seem like an unlikely event, the devastating consequences of a potential attack make it imperative for countries to adopt measures to effectively counter the threat of nuclear terrorism. This includes the establishment of strong and effective legal regimes.
UNODC is mandated to assist Member States with the adherence to, and implementation of, a set of 19 international conventions and protocols related to terrorism, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT). ICSANT provides the basis for the harmonization of criminalization provisions across jurisdictions, thus enhancing the framework for, and facilitating, international cooperation against acts of terrorism involving nuclear or other radioactive material.
UNODC’s programme on preventing and countering chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) terrorism promotes the universalization and effective implementation of ICSANT through a project funded by the European Union. In this context, UNODC launched in 2020 a series of webinars on countering CBRN terrorism. Most recently, on 10 December 2020, UNODC delivered a webinar on “The Implementation of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT): The Experience of Cameroon”. The webinar was conducted in French and focused on one Member State’s experience with the adherence to and national implementation of the convention.
The invited speaker, Ms. Ruth Aurélie Josepha Kouankam Epse Schlick, Magistrate at the Department of Legislation at the Ministry of Justice of Cameroon, shared Cameroon’s example of adhering to international legal instruments and outlined the steps needed and challenges encountered – in the process of becoming a party to ICSANT.
The webinar brought together 32 participants from 18 countries and INTERPOL. Participants learned about the importance of not only adhering to ICSANT but also of effectively implementing its requirements within the national legal system to ensure that there is no safe haven for perpetrators of acts of nuclear terrorism.
While there is no single way to adhere to a convention, and to incorporate its provisions in national legislation, models provided by other countries can offer orientation and inspire other States which might also consider becoming parties to an international legal instrument. The exchange of experiences and good practices, and the sharing of national models of implementation are thus essential to support efforts towards the universalization and implementation of ICSANT.
More information on ICSANT and related technical assistance provided by UNODC can be requested by contacting email@example.com.