UNODC and Togolese authorities work together to develop a national strategy to prevent violent extremism

15-09-2020

LOME Experts from the UNODC Terrorism Prevention Branch held an initial consultative meeting with the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism (CIPLEV) of Togo, within the framework of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) project on capacity building in the West African region, on 10 September 2020 in Lomé, Togo. 

The Sahel countries are particularly affected by terrorist attacks. In addition, weaknesses in national criminal justice systems do not adequately stem the spread of terrorism.

Therefore the meeting - with UNODC specialists attending via teleconference - was an opportunity to take stock of implementation, cooperation, and capacity-building efforts in the priority areas that were highlighted by the members of the West Africa Working Group of the WFLT, held last February, as part of the work plan of this group.

According to the UNODC Regional Coordinator for the Prevention of Terrorism, it is of utmost importance to continue building the capacity of actors in the criminal justice chain of States and to frame their actions with a strategy to fight terrorism and prevent violent extremism, both to prevent such acts and to bring criminals to justice.

"This reflection on response strategies leads us to address a whole series of questions related in particular to the criminal response to terrorism," he said. In particular, how to contribute to the updating of international standards in the fight against terrorism and to the upgrading of national legislation, so as to incorporate the latest trends and concepts that allow States to speak the same language when the need to cooperate arises.

Faced with the rise of terrorism in the Sahel region, Togo created the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Prevention and Fight against Violent Extremism (CIPLEV) on 15 May 2019 with the mission to prevent and fight against violent extremism according to a flexible approach adopted by the Togolese government, in addition to the operational mechanism put in place to combat and fight against terrorism.

For Damien Mama, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Togo, CIPLEV represents a significant step forward and an illustration of the institutional architecture necessary for a participatory, holistic and effective national response to violent extremism.

"No country alone will be able to overcome terrorism and cross-border crime. That is why international cooperation is the cornerstone of the fight against terrorism," he said in his opening speech.

"The Working Group for West Africa of the Global Forum on Fight against Terrorism, co-chaired by Algeria and Germany, is a good example of solidarity and cooperation between states. And UNODC is pleased to support this mechanism. This is an opportunity for me to reaffirm to you that the support of the United Nations System to ICPLEV will continue," said Mr. Mama.

The Ambassador of Germany in his remarks emphasized the need to intensify cross-border cooperation in the region, as well as the need for a multifaceted approach that includes local communities in particular.  He referred to the measures already taken by the Togolese government such as the creation of the Committees for the Prevention and Fight against Violent Extremism also at the local level, and encouraged Togo to continue in this direction.

During the last session, the UNODC moderator gave a summary of the themes discussed during the day and also outlined the next steps that will be taken in technical support activities to finalise the drafting of the future national strategy to prevent and combat violent extremism. This assistance was highly appreciated by CIPLEV members and its President.

 

In the context of the global fight against terrorism, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is mandated to provide assistance to countries, upon request, in their efforts to adopt and implement law enforcement and criminal justice responses to terrorism.

 

This activity is funded by Germany

 

 

For more information :

- The universal legal framework against terrorism

https://www.unodc.org/documents/terrorism/Publications/Training_Curriculum_Module2/French.pdf