Between the 28-29 June, UNODC is organizing an Inter-Regional Meeting between South-Eastern Europe and West and Central Asia on Building Partnerships in Countering Illicit Financial Flows, in Zagreb, Croatia.
As the West and Central Asia and Southern East Europe are significantly affected by the drug economy that thrives around opium cultivation and heroin production in Afghanistan, which is smuggled to West and Central Europe through different routes across these regions, with a growing importance of the Balkan route, UNODC together with relevant national, regional and international actors aims with this meeting to appose the Heads of Drug Control Agencies/Offices and Heads of Financial Intelligence Units of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbourig Countries and the Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe. The event will allow officials of these regions to meet as a group for the first time and address challenges and prospects for inter-regional cooperation, with a particular emphasis on illicit financial flows, in line with the 2016 UNGASS Outcome document, especially as regards South-South and Triangular cooperation.
The IISG Support Group and the EUD / EUSR Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the support of the CEELI Institute Prague, are organizing the Kick-Off Meeting of the Regional Network for P/CVE Coordinators, intended for the establishment of a regional platform which will create a high-level forum for a regular exchange of good practices, national approaches and challenges faced in the development as well as implementation of P/CVE strategies and action plans. The meeting is going to take place in Prague between 7- 8 June. The establishment of a Regional Network of National P/CVE Coordinators is one of the many steps that IISG aims at making, in order to achieve the WBCTi iPA 2018-2020 goals.
On 4th June, the Albanian National Coordinator for Countering Violent Extremism will hold a regional meeting on the topic of countering violent extremism (CVE) with key stakeholders from the region and beyond, entitled “Going Together and in Partnership on Countering Violent Extremism” – Western Balkans CVE Regional Meeting. The aim of the event will be to foster the partnership and cooperation among the WB countries, through raising the awareness on the needs to properly address violent extremism issues, as an irreplaceable component in the package of measures against terrorism.
In specific, the meeting will have two objectives:
- to bring together key regional stakeholders, from policy-makers, representatives from relevant public institutions to civil society, education, and religious representatives, that can directly contribute to the matter,
- to raise awareness on the need to advance in the efforts to develop community-oriented approaches for countering hateful extremist ideologies that cause radicalization, promote recruitment or incite to violence.
On 30th May, the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is organizing a regional workshop on law enforcement/judicial services and state attorneys/prosecutors on dealing with terrorism and violent extremism –connected crimes in Tirana, Albania. The workshop is part of the wider EU funded project, under the IPA II 2016 umbrella, entitled “Support to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) in the Western Balkans (WB)”. This workshop is considered to be a preparation for further, concrete activities aimed at improving regional cooperation in this particular field. For more information visit RCC website here.
Between 17- 18 April 2018 the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) is organising a two-day regional workshop and conference, entitled “Countering online radicalisation in the context of cybersecurity” in Belgrade, Serbia.
The event will be divided into four panels, during which experts and participants from the region and the European Union, will address questions and share experiences related to online terrorist and violent extremist propaganda, fake news and hate speech, cyber-attacks and other.
For more information please visit RCC website here.
On 28th March, The Regional Anti-corruption Initiative (RAI) and the Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (AIRE) Centre are organizing a Regional Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Asset Recovery, in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Conference is part of the project “Combating corruption in the Western Balkans and Strengthening Regional Cooperation in the field of Asset Recovery”, which is being implemented with support from the British Government and from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
The objective of the Conference is to present the findings of the Study prepared by the AIRE Centre and the RAI Secretariat concerning search, seizure and confiscation of illegally obtained assets, with emphasis on final court judgments in corruption cases in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. For more information about the conference, please visit RAI website here.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) in partnership with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) is organizing the GCTF Second Regional Expert Meeting in Tirana, Albania, on 5th and 6th February 2018.
The regional expert meeting in Tirana will be the second in a series of four meetings, with a focus on the Balkan region. The aim of this event is to discuss the evolving dynamics of transnational organized crime, the challenges deriving from the constant diversification of its business areas, and its ability to adapt quickly to changing environments and actors. These characteristics allow for the linkages between criminal syndicates and terrorist groups, generating new challenges that often outpace the law enforcement capacity to understand, prevent and counter relevant phenomena. A more nuanced understanding of the interlinkages between crime and terrorism demonstrates the need for new approaches and mutually reinforcing multi-sectoral interventions that engage at local, national, regional and international levels.
The Second Regional Meeting on the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism initiative is hosting experts from international organizations (per example Mr. Rajko Kozmelj, IISG Chair and Mr. Leif Villadsen, Senior Programme Officer at UNICRI), national authorities (per example representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in Albania), and research centers (per example The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) and the Centre of Excellence in Terrorism, Resilience, Intelligence & Organised Crime Research (CENTRIC)).
Within IPA II 2017 Multi-Country Action “Support to Integrative Internal Security Governance in the Western Balkans”, the project entitled “Building Regional Anti- Money Laundering and Counter- Financing of Terrorism Capacity in SEE”, was entrusted to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe.
For more information about UNODC Regional Programme for South Eastern Europe, please visit their website here.
Between 17th – 18th May 2017, DCAF, the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the Slovenian Ministry of Interior – Police are co-organising an important regional conference, which will bring together senior policy-makers from law enforcement and intelligence, academics and relevant international and regional security actors in the area of CT and P/CVE policy in the Western Balkans. The conference will identify requirements to improve CT and P/CVE policies in the Western Balkans, and recommend priorities for the next multi-annual WBCTi Integrated Plan of Action that will enter into force in early 2018, based on Beneficiaries needs and relevant threat assessments.
For more information on the Conference, please see: CT – PCVE Conference AAR May 2017
The conference was held in Tirana on 11th November 2016, and was organized by RCC Sarajevo, PCC SEE Secretariat, First Line project and the Albanian Ministry of Internal Affairs. It brought together the members of the three regional platforms, operating under the auspices of the WBCTi and representing the political level (incl. external dimension), policy level (law enforcement and intelligence), and police operatives, respectively: the RCC Group of National Focal Points on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism leading to Terrorism and Foreign Terrorist Fighters in South East Europe (NFP CVE-FTF Group); the Police Cooperation Convention for South East Europe (PCC SEE) Counter-Terrorism Network, and the operational-level network of the Slovenian-led Counter-Terrorism Initiative (CTI). The conference was also attended by the European Commission, the US, OSCE, UNODC, UNDP, SELEC, Europol, Interpol and some other important actors in this area of security cooperation. The WBCTi Chair Rajko Kozmelj made a presentation on the current state of play, and future actions envisaged within the scope of the initiative. He also referred to the WBCTi Integrated Plan of Action 2015-2017, emphasizing the importance of better coordination, communication and prioritization of actions within the three different levels of the WBCTi policy management: political (RCC), strategic (PCC SEE) and operational (CTI).
Joint Meeting of the SEE Cooperation Networks in the Area of CT and CVE under the auspices of WBCTi, Tirana, 11 Nov 2016 – (Photo: RCC Sarajevo)