UN / TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME

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06-Aug-2020 00:03:02
The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly said, “as the Security Council has recognized, linkages between terrorism and organized crime are complex and multifaceted, posing a serious threat to international peace and security.” UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / TERRORISM AND ORGANIZED CRIME
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DATELINE: 06 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY / FILE

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FILE – RECENT – NEW YORK CITY

1.Wide shot, exterior, United Nations

06 AUGUST 2020, NEW YORK CITY

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3.SOUNDBITE (English) Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
“As the Security Council has recognized, linkages between terrorism and organized crime are complex and multifaceted, posing a serious threat to international peace and security. The COVID-19 crisis poses a host of new challenges to national authorities. Organized criminal groups and terrorists may seek to capitalize on and exploit new vulnerabilities, and transit patterns are shifting in view of travel restrictions and lockdown measures, adding further challenges for border security. Comprehensive and cooperative responses are needed more than ever.”
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5.SOUNDBITE (English) Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime:
“National legal frameworks could be updated to include precise definitions of terrorism and organized crime offences and criminalization of facilitation acts. More resources could be directed towards reinforcing national intelligence and criminal justice coordination and capacity through the establishment of specialized units and inter-agency mechanisms, as well as through a greater focus on intelligence-led policing, and evidence collection and preservation, including for electronic evidence. Targeting entire organized criminal or terrorist networks when building criminal cases should also be a priority.”
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7.SOUNDBITE (English) Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism:
“We are yet to fully understand the impact and consequences of the pandemic on global peace and security, and more specifically on organized crime and terrorism. We know that terrorists are exploiting the significant disruption and economic hardships caused by COVID-19 to spread fear, hate and division and radicalize and recruit new followers. The increase in internet usage and cybercrime during the pandemic further compounds the problem.”
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9.SOUNDBITE (English) Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism:
“In many parts of the world, terrorists are exploiting local grievances and poor governance to regroup and assert their control. The pandemic has the potential to act as a catalyst in the spread of terrorism and violent extremism by exacerbating inequalities, undermining social cohesion and fuelling local conflicts. We must continue our fight against terrorist groups and criminal networks to deny them the opportunity to exploit the COVID-19 crisis. Collective action and international cooperation are needed now more than ever.”
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STORYLINE:

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ghada Waly said, “as the Security Council has recognized, linkages between terrorism and organized crime are complex and multifaceted, posing a serious threat to international peace and security.”

Addressing the Security Concil via video link today (06 Aug), the UNODC’s chief presented the findings of the report of the Secretary-General on actions taken by Member States and UN Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact Entities to address linkages between terrorism and organized crime.

She said, “the COVID-19 crisis poses a host of new challenges to national authorities,” adding that “organized criminal groups and terrorists may seek to capitalize on and exploit new vulnerabilities, and transit patterns are shifting in view of travel restrictions and lockdown measures, adding further challenges for border security.”

Waly reiterated that “comprehensive and cooperative responses are needed more than ever.”

She explained that the report identified several areas for intensified action to fully respond to Resolution 2482 and to further develop and disseminate the good practices reported by Member States.

Waly said, “national legal frameworks could be updated to include precise definitions of terrorism and organized crime offences and criminalization of facilitation acts,” adding that “more resources could be directed towards reinforcing national intelligence and criminal justice coordination and capacity through the establishment of specialized units and inter-agency mechanisms, as well as through a greater focus on intelligence-led policing, and evidence collection and preservation, including for electronic evidence.”

She also stated that targeting entire organized criminal or terrorist networks when building criminal cases should also be a priority.

Vladimir Voronkov, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism also briefed the Council.

He said, “we are yet to fully understand the impact and consequences of the pandemic on global peace and security, and more specifically on organized crime and terrorism.”

Voronkov continued, “we know that terrorists are exploiting the significant disruption and economic hardships caused by COVID-19 to spread fear, hate and division and radicalize and recruit new followers, adding that “the increase in internet usage and cybercrime during the pandemic further compounds the problem.”

The Under-Secretary-General also noted that Member States are rightly focused on tackling the health emergency and human crisis caused by COVID-19. But we must not forget or be complacent about the continuing threat of terrorism.

Voronkov explained, “in many parts of the world, terrorists are exploiting local grievances and poor governance to regroup and assert their control. The pandemic has the potential to act as a catalyst in the spread of terrorism and violent extremism by exacerbating inequalities, undermining social cohesion and fueling local conflicts.”

He reiterated that the world “must continue our fight against terrorist groups and criminal networks to deny them the opportunity to exploit the COVID-19 crisis. Collective action and international cooperation are needed now more than ever.”

The report was prepared by UNODC and OCT in response to the request contained in Security Council resolution 2482. It reflects the contributions of 50 Member States and 15 Global Compact entities, and benefitted from valuable UN system inputs, including from the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team.

The report provides an overview of measures taken by Member States and UN entities to address linkages between terrorism and organized crime, as well as recommendations for action going forward.
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