Central Asia Webinar

Webinar series in partnership with:

CENTRAL ASIA BORDER CHALLENGES

Wednesday 28th October

7.30am EST / 12.30pm UK / 1.30pm CET

Through the organization of a series of geographic-focused webinars the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), in partnership with Border Security Report and the World Border Security Congress (WBSC), as well as with key Global Compact, regional and national experts, aims to virtually delve into region-specific contexts and explore threat landscapes, border security and management challenges, and discuss response measures and mechanisms related to countering terrorism and trans-national organized crime.

Within Central Asia major security threats include proximity to conflict areas, the production and trafficking of illicit drugs and arms trafficking. Central Asia is also affected by unresolved territorial disputes, which undermines the capacity of States to cooperate in countering the terrorist threat. Remote control points and difficult terrain and a lack of resources further undermines States’ capacity to secure and manage their borders. Central Asia faces key challenges at developing and coordinating intelligence and information sharing at borders using both conventional and non- conventional means, strengthening overall interdiction capacities through the development of cross border liaison mechanisms between Central Asia and Afghanistan, and developing operating standards for the “green border” in this sensitive region.

Conflict and sectarian violence in various regions throughout the world in recent years has exacerbated the security challenges faced by many States. Recent massive migratory movements formed by economic migrants and asylum seeker has also added to States’ challenges in effectively managing their borders. Terrorist groups and foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) continue to exploit weaknesses in border infrastructure and control capacities and illegally cross porous borders to traffic small arms and light weapons (SALW), munitions and explosives, drugs, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) weapons and dual-use materials and other licit and illicit goods, as well as to travel from and to areas of conflict. All these factors increase the vulnerability of affected populations regionally and locally, ultimately threatening global peace and security.

While the threat of terrorism is global, the security landscapes as well as border management-related gaps and challenges faced by States are both varied and influenced by a wide range of different geographic, political, economic, and social factors. It is therefore critically important that global efforts to counter terrorism recognize, understand, and take into consideration the varied geographic contexts in responding to the gaps and challenges faced by States.

Furthermore, the outbreak of the of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related public health response measures has had an unprecedented global impact. As with the threat of terrorism, the impacts of COVID-19 – both in the short and longer terms, are unlikely to be experienced consistently by all States or across all regions. States’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic have varied, many have either declared a state of emergency or invoked exceptional powers in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, significantly impacting cross-border trade and travel. Understanding how this evolving global health threat and measures to contain intersects with terrorism and transnational crime at the regional and national levels will also be critically important.