On 24-25 June, UNICRI held a trilateral workshop for Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine on countering the trafficking of radiological and nuclear (RN) material in the Black Sea region. The event was made possible thanks to the financial support of the Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (DSA).
The workshop gathered representatives of security services, law enforcement and nuclear regulatory authorities from the three countries to discuss national efforts of countering nuclear trafficking, challenges and future regional action to enhance cooperation and communication between relevant State authorities.
The threat of nuclear terrorism is rising: regional instabilities, conflicts, uncontrolled territories, as well as dangerous links between organized criminal groups and terrorists are all factors that increase the risk of terrorist groups acquiring radiological and nuclear material” stated Ms. Bettina Tucci Bartsiotas, UNICRI Director, during her welcoming remarks on 24 June.
Countering the trafficking of radioactive and nuclear material is a complex endeavor, which entails the active involvement of a wide range of different actors, expertise and equipment at the national level. Intelligence, border and patrol police, emergency services, nuclear forensics laboratories, prosecutor’s offices, and nuclear regulatory agencies, among others, need to work in close coordination to prevent, detect and efficiently respond to cases of radioactive and nuclear trafficking. Furthermore, due to the transnational nature of the phenomenon, it is crucial that a system of coordination and cooperation is established not just at the national level, but also at the regional and international levels.