SE Europe Med Region Webinar

Webinar series in partnership with:

SOUTH EAST EUROPE / MEDITERRANEAN BORDER CHALLENGES

Wednesday 14th October

9.30am EST / 2.30pm UK / 3.30pm 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.

Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean remains a major transit route for the movement or trafficking of people, narcotics, illicit funds, small arms and light weapons (SALW), and other contraband goods from Africa, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe. The subregion is also confronted with vast flows of refugees and asylum seekers from other parts of the world, in particular conflict zones, and preventing the movement of suspected FTFs within these flows presents a significant challenge. Furthermore, the subregion is also extremely vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment, with high unemployment levels, historic ethnic grievances, high levels of corruption and a lack of trust in Government.

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.