Egypt and UNODC strengthen collaboration in fight against terrorism

Egypt and UNODC strengthen collaboration in fight against terrorism

Police officers from a counter-terrorism unit and French intelligence services patrol a street in Wattignies, France, after the arrest of a man during a joint French-Belgian counter-terrorism operation in 2017. PHOTO: AFP

Police officers from a counter-terrorism unit and French intelligence services patrol a street in Wattignies, France, after the arrest of a man during a joint French-Belgian counter-terrorism operation in 2017. PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO – 10 July 2024: Badr Abdel Aaty, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Migration Affairs, has stressed Egypt’s commitment to expanding cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in several key areas, including counter-terrorism.

This collaboration will focus on capacity building, countering extremist ideologies, online recruitment and developing national strategies to combat terrorism and violent extremism.

Dr. Abdel Aaty made these remarks during his meeting with Ghada Waly, Executive Director of UNODC, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Nabil Habashi, Deputy Minister of Migration Affairs, also attended the meeting.

Ambassador Ahmed Abu Zeid, the official spokesperson for the ministry, said that Ms. Waly congratulated the Minister of Foreign Affairs on his new role and praised the existing cooperation between Egypt and UNODC. She reaffirmed the office’s commitment to supporting Egypt in priority areas, in line with the “Regional Framework for Arab States 2023-2028.” The framework provides for strategic cooperation between UNODC, the Arab League and 18 Arab countries, outlining technical support in response to regional challenges.

The meeting provided an opportunity to review ongoing cooperation, particularly in the fight against drugs, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, corruption, financial crimes, crime prevention and criminal justice. Projects involving the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Defense, Health and the National Coordination Committee for the Fight and Prevention of Illegal Migration and Human Trafficking were highlighted.

Minister Abdel Aaty expressed his deep appreciation for the role played by UNODC in Egypt and stressed the importance of maximizing the benefits of these projects. He proposed to use the funds of the Egypt-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, suggesting that UNODC could be an implementing partner for the relevant aspects of this partnership.

The minister also proposed new partnerships, exploring cooperation between UNODC regional offices in Africa and the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development. He stressed Egypt’s interest in the stability and security of the Sahel and Sahara regions and in supporting counter-terrorism efforts in these regions.

The meeting also focused on international efforts to combat the criminal use of information and communication technologies. Mr. Waly briefed the Minister on developments within the intergovernmental committee of experts on this issue, noting that UNODC would take over secretariat tasks related to the implementation of these commitments.

The two sides agreed to continue consultations and coordination on the implementation of joint projects and explore new avenues of cooperation. They also discussed support for international efforts to combat the criminal use of technologies.