In response to growing evidence and Member States’ concerns about the links between transnational organized crime and terrorism (the nexus), and in continuation of the work of UNICRI on the nexus from 2016, the Institute established a partnership with the Government of the Netherlands and the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) to capitalize on achievements and support the efforts of the international community on this matter. The Nexus Initiative expanded on existing knowledge and developed new policies and strategies to support effective interventions to counter the nexus between organized crime and terrorism.
Under this initiative, four regional meetings were organized to share knowledge and gather data on the diverse regional manifestations of the nexus, which covered:
- West Africa and Sahel region, in Algiers (October 2017), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Algeria.
- The Balkan region, in Tirana (February 2018), in collaboration with Government of Albania, specifically the Coordination Centre for Countering Violent Extremism – Albania.
- Southeast and South Asia region, in Singapore (March 2018), in collaboration with INTERPOL.
- Horn of Africa and East Africa region, Nairobi (May 2018), in collaboration with the National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) of Kenya.
A diverse range of relevant stakeholders partook in the meetings, including representatives of different governmental agencies from countries within the region, representatives from international, regional and national organizations, members of the academia, the private sector, and representatives from civil society and non-governmental organizations. From the diverse information and data gathered during the meetings, and further consultations with relevant stakeholders, UNICRI, under the auspices of the GCTF, developed The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism. These non-binding recommendations can be used by Member States and interested stakeholders as a basis for international engagement, assistance and training. The document was endorsed at the GCTF ministerial meeting in New York in September 2018 and presented at the Security Council Open briefing of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on “The nexus between international terrorism and transnational organized crime” in October 2018.
A further step in the Nexus Initiative has been for UNICRI to develop a Policy Toolkit on the good practices on the nexus that has a twofold action: (a) it provides a conceptual definition of the nexus, giving examples of regional manifestations and providing enabling factors to the nexus; and, (b) it provides Member States with practical guidance on how to implement recommendations, where appropriate, suggesting key actors to involve, while providing relevant international standards/documentation and example initiatives for specific recommendations.
Good practices from the Nexus Policy Toolkit, translated into four languages (Albanian, Arabic, English and French), have been piloted in two Member States as capacity-building activities. The activities are carefully tailored to the context and involve dynamic scenario-setting exercises based on real case scenarios which allow for open discussion among participants.
UNICRI teamed up with the Coordination Centre for Countering Violent Extremism – Albania, and with the National Counter Terrorism Centre of Kenya for the different trainings. More information can be found by looking at the meeting packages.