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The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism

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The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism

Understanding the ways in which transnational organized crime and terrorism are linked has become a priority concern for many Member States. In this regard, the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2195 (2014), on the interaction of terrorism and cross-border crime and its impact on international peace and security, called upon States to better understand and address this nexus as a threat to security and development.

While the nexus has been seen to manifest itself in varying ways depending on differing regional contexts, links between terrorism and transnational organized crime can have far-reaching consequences. It is therefore important to take stock of the effective measures adopted at various levels and of the experiences of persons and organizations in the field.

This was the objective of The Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism Initiative, led by the Netherlands and implemented in collaboration with UNICRI under the auspices of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). The Initiative resulted in the development of The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus between Transnational Organized Crime and Terrorism, which can serve as the basis for international engagement, assistance and training to address the challenges posed by the nexus between terrorism and transnational organized crime, and which can assist authorities at the global, national and local level to address this phenomenon.

The Hague Good Practices document was endorsed at the Ninth GCTF Ministerial Plenary Meeting in New York in September 2018. This year’s Ministerial Meeting focused on deepening the close and ongoing cooperation between the United Nations and the GCTF, more specifically by supporting the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the broader UN Counter-Terrorism framework.

The Good Practices document is based on discussions held with government officials, representatives from international, national and regional organizations, members of the academia, subject matter experts, and other relevant stakeholders during four regional meetings held between 2017 and 2018. These meetings were held in Algiers, Tirana, Singapore (at the INTERPOL premises), and Nairobi, focusing respectively on the following regions: West Africa and the Sahel, the Balkans, Southeast and South Asia, and the Horn of Africa and East Africa.

This Good Practices document cover priority areas where urgent action could be taken and is divided into four main sections: (a) legal considerations, (b) research and information sharing, (c) local engagement, and (d) capacity building and law enforcement. The non-binding good practices outlined in this document may guide and inform programmes designed to prevent and counter the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism or to address more general issues relating to these phenomena. Similarly, the good practices can be used to shape any bilateral or multilateral, technical or other, capacity-building assistance programme that might be envisaged in this area.

The next step will consist in the development of a Toolkit to operationalize The Hague Good Practices on the Nexus. The Toolkit will provide local practitioners, policymakers as well as other (governmental) experts, with a practical tool for the use and implementation of the good practices to address the challenge of the nexus. The Netherlands together with UNICRI presented the Good Practices process and final document during the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) open briefing titled the “The nexus between international terrorism and transnational organized crime.”

The open briefing that took place on 8 October at the UN HQs in New York, was organized by the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), in cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UNICRI.

Link to the webcast of the open briefing of the Counter-Terrorism Committee on Terror Crime Nexus here: