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Central Asia Border Challenges

Wed, Oct 28, 2020 · 12:30 PM · GMT
About This Webinar

In exploring the landscape of border management in Central Asia, there is a need to look beyond the challenges associated with the physical control over external borders and the flow of goods and persons through ports of entry, and also examine the mitigation of cross-border threats including criminal activity and terrorism.

Central Asia and the wider region continues to face a number of ongoing security threats. The security threats within the region emanate from political and economic instability, ongoing conflicts in neighbouring States, the trafficking of illicit drugs and small arms and light weapons (SALW) through the region, illicit financial flows linked with large-scale labour migration abroad and widespread money remittances, and the establishment of networks of criminals, clans and militant extremists competing for economic advantage. Located between the markets of Europe and Asia, another critical concern within the region is the potential inter-connections and linkages between terrorism and organized crime.

In recent years, most States in the region have been affected by an increase in radicalization to violent extremism. Two Central Asian regional terrorist organizations are listed by the United Nations as being affiliated with Al-Qaida: the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU, also known as the Islamic Movement of Turkestan) and the Islamic Jihad Group (or Union). Notably, the IMU embodies a good example of a hybrid organization, involved in both terrorist activities and utilizing the funding methods of organized crime, particularly cross-border smuggling of Afghan opiates.

Central Asia has also been heavily impacted by the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs), both as States of origin and as transit. As per a 2018 open briefing of the Counter- Terrorism Committee on Central Asia, it is estimated that between 2,000 - 3,000 individuals left the region to fight in conflict zones, including in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic. Thus, the region now faces potential challenges relating to the management of FTFs returning or relocating to third countries.

Both the Security Council and the General Assembly have encouraged States to promote and strengthen cross-border cooperation and regional and subregional coordination, through effective measures and enhanced exchange of information between law enforcement agencies, customs, and

export and import licensing authorities, with a view to eradicating and combating the illicit activities across borders2. In particular, both bodies have stressed the need to stem the illicit trafficking of SALW to terrorist groups. However, unresolved border disputes and conflict over natural resources has undermined regional cooperation and the capacity of States to cooperate in countering transnational organized crime and terrorism. Remote control points, difficult terrain and a lack of technical capacity and resources further undermine States’ capacity to secure and manage their borders. As a result, Central Asia continues to face challenges regarding cross-border cooperation and information sharing, including between Central Asia and Afghanistan, strengthening enforcement and interdiction capacities, and developing effective and comprehensive national and regional border management strategies that fully address these complex gaps and threats.

Recognizing the importance of cooperation in addressing regional challenges to peace, security, and development, Central Asia has benefited from mechanisms such as the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and The Central Asia Joint Plan of Action, the first regional framework designed to address the threat of terrorism through a common approach. Furthermore, the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) within the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), under the framework of its global Border Security Management (BSM) Programme, supports Member States in strengthening border security and management capacities to counter terrorism, by stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) across land, air, and maritime borders, as well as preventing the cross-border movement of illicit cargo and related transnational crimes, including through enhanced inter-agency and international cooperation. Concurrently, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions repeatedly emphasize that the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law and effectively countering terrorism are not conflicting goals, but rather are complementary and mutually reinforcing objectives.

This webinar, focusing on ‘Border Challenges in Central Asia in the Context of Counter-Terrorism and Related Transnational Organized Crime’, aims to virtually delve into the region-specific context and explore threat landscapes, border security and management challenges and successes, and discuss response measures and mechanisms related to countering terrorism and transnational organized crime. The virtual discussions will touch on current threats and the evolving terrorism landscape, the nexus between transnational organized crime and terrorism, main gaps and challenges for border management, and the need for border security strategies, plans of action, and processes that incorporate counter-terrorism components as well as crisis and risk management mechanisms within the current pandemic context.

The webinar will bring together counter-terrorism coordinators, border and law enforcement experts and practitioners, as well as experts from relevant international, regional and sub-regional organizations to share their experience and ideas for addressing the existing challenges.

Who can view: Everyone
Webinar Price: Free
Featured Presenters
Webinar hosting presenter
Editor Border Security Report / World Security Report
Editor of Border Security Report, WOrld Security Report and Director of World Border Security Congress
Webinar hosting presenter
Programme Manager, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism- United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Webinar hosting presenter
Head of the Border Security and Management Unit, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism- United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Webinar hosting presenter
Programme Manager, Transnational Threats Dept, OSCE
Ms. Albina Yakubova has been working for the OSCE Secretariat’s Transnational Treats Department Border Security and Management Unit in Programme Management Officer capacity since 2013. She is responsible for the development, planning and implementation of border programmes/projects on prevention of cross-border movement of FTFs/criminals, delimitation and demarcation practices, cooperation in the Mediterranean region and other areas.

Before joining OSCE Albina provided expert contribution to the regional and global projects on precursor control, terrorism prevention, anti-human trafficking in UNODC ROCA and UNODC Headquarters/INCB Secretariat.
Project management, expertise on precursors control, crime/terrorism prevention, border security and management, behavioral analysis, transferring expert knowledge and efficient practices, professional communication on all levels stand out among her skills and know-how.

Albina is a holder of two Master Degrees in Criminal Law and the European Law a number of certified trainings in the above-mentioned thematic areas.
Webinar hosting presenter
Human Rights and Political Affairs Officer, UNRCCA
Webinar hosting presenter
Deputy Project Coordinator/Deputy Consortium Leader for Border management programme in Central Asia (BOMCA 9), State Border Guard of Latvia
Webinar hosting presenter
Expert of the United Nations 1267 and 1988 Sanctions Committees’ Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, United Nations
Webinar hosting presenter
Coordinator of the United Nations 1267 and 1988 Sanctions Committees’ Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, United Nations
Webinar hosting presenter
Global Firearms Programme, UNODC
Webinar hosting presenter
Associate Programme Officer, Border Security and Management Unit, UNCCT/UNOCT
Webinar hosting presenter
Senior Expert, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism - United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Webinar hosting presenter
Chief, Countering Terrorism Section, United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism - United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT-UNCCT)
Mr. Ulrik P. Ahnfeldt-Mollerup, is a Senior Political Affairs Officer at UNOCT and is Chief of the Countering Terrorism Section in the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT). The Section provides capacity-building to Member States on issues such as countering the financing of terrorism, border security and management, cyber, and CBRN terrorism. Prior to joining UNCCT in 2013, Mr. Ahnfeldt-Mollerup headed the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Programme Office in East Jerusalem. Between 2008 and 2010 he served as Terrorism Prevention Officer at UNODC in Vienna. Before this, he worked for five years in the UN Department of Political Affairs, Security Council Affairs Division, dealing mainly with the Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions regime. Before joining the UN, Mr. Ahnfeldt-Mollerup served as Head of Section at the Danish Ministry for Refugee, Migration and Integration Affairs. Mr. Ahnfeldt-Mollerup holds a Master of Laws from Copenhagen University and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School.
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