UNICRI, together with its cooperating partners, is targeting destabilizing factors and transnational threats through the establishment of an observatory on global threat convergence, TOCscope. The observatory is a response to the request of the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Franco Frattini at the G-8 Conference held in Rome 23-24 April, where he underlined that countries should be able to benefit from all possible expertise that could be generated by specialized international bodies: "UNICRI will seek the support and cooperation of other UN and international bodies, including the International Chamber of Commerce and the Global Agenda Councils of the World Economic Forum".
The observatory will examine the threats posed to all nations by transnational terrorism, organized crime, corruption, maritime piracy, the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction along with other global threats and their interconnection. Interlinked illicit threats create a climate where the state no longer provides security, thus undermining the integrity of vital governmental institutions. In this climate illicit actors maximize their potential to exploit the situation for fast and violent forms to accumulate wealth and create safe havens, with a high degree of impunity.
The observatory will focus in particular on the already weakly governed countries, the fragile nations where the power and legitimacy of state institutions has destabilized and the norms of social control have vanished. Illicit actors including transnational criminal organizations, terrorist groups and corrupt officials can undermine the remains of the criminal justice system and help fuel widespread insecurity, chaos, and lawlessness, promoting monopolies of ungoverned locations, destabilizing the whole area and threatening the security of the rest of the world.
The data included in the UNICRI observatory will highlight the impact of transnational illicit networks on international financial markets, political structures, development, peace processes and human security. Moreover, it will illustrate how it harms the everyday life of citizens. The observatory will contain accessible information on good practices in dealing with threats and on how to decrease the risks and vulnerabilities which they cause.
As highlighted by Minister Frattini, the world is facing a global challenge that requires global analysis, globalcommitment and a global response. There is a need for greater inter-regional approaches to dismantle threat networks and a need for stronger joint inter-governmental coordination to combat the assets of the criminal and terrorist organizations, as well as corrupt high-level officials. The UNICRI observatory will offer tools for the international community to improve the capability for the timely detection and understanding of the transnational threat trends in order to allow a more pro-active and comprehensive approach.