The one-day “Conference on the Implementation of UN SC Resolution 1373 Mechanism in the Western Balkans – Case Studies” took place on 4th October 2022 in RACVIAC – Centre for Security Cooperation with more than 30 participants and experts from the region taking part in the event. The Conference was organized in partnership with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The main purpose of this Conference was to develop national and regional capabilities in the Western Balkans to prevent and combat terrorism and terrorism financing by implementing UNSC Resolution 1373. Participants were expected to be from governmental agencies, national police, state attorney/prosecutor’s office, security agencies, and other relevant agencies in the field of law enforcement.
The event was opened by MG (ret.) Jeronim Bazo, Director of RACVIAC and Ms Susan Penksa, PhD, Acting Head of Security Co-operation Department, OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Director Bazo, in his Introductory speech, stated: “It is our great pleasure to organize this conference in person and in cooperation with the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina for the very first time on this very important and current topic not only here in RACVIAC, but in the region as well. Ladies and gentlemen, having in mind the importance of this topic we want to give our contribution in this field by organizing a conference that will undoubtedly benefit the SEE region as a whole.” The Director also encouraged participants to engage in an open and comprehensive discussion on emerging security challenges for the Western Balkans and the South East European region in particular with security policy and academic experts.
Ms Susane Penksa pointed out that OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and RACVIAC have, for many years, jointly organized important regional security and defence events such as this one. “I think it is very clear from a distinguished roster of participants here today that we would greatly benefit from the expertise of the exceptional counter-terrorism experts, academics and security professionals who will be using their best practices and wisdom to help us united to counter terrorism and all its forms” she concluded.
The Conference consisted of three panels. Panel One focused on terrorist financing risks in the Western Balkan countries. The presentations were given by Tonći Prodan, PhD, University of Split, HR and Mr Nenad Ešpek, Professional advisor, Ministry of Security of BA.
Panellists in Panel Two were Ms Enkelejda Daja, MSc, Ministry of Finance, AL and Mr Edin Jahić, MSc, Chief of the Section for Combating Organized Crime and Corruption, Ministry of Security of BA, who expounded on the topic ”Legal frameworks of countries in the Western Balkans to implement the 1373 mechanism”. Both Panels were moderated by Ms Selma Zeković, OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Panel three was dedicated to ”Improving co-operation between the Western Balkan countries on the implementation of the 1373 mechanism” and the topic was delivered by Mr Željko Radovanović, PhD, Ministry of Finance, RS and Mr Ridvan Bahadir, MSc, Financial Crime Investigation Board-FIU, TR. The Panel was moderated by Mr Edin Jahić, MSc, Ministry of Security of BA.
The event ended with the Closing speech by MG (ret.) Bazo after which the certificates were distributed. The Conference was an excellent opportunity to exchange views in relation to terrorism financing risks of each country to find an answer as to whether the 1373 mechanism might be applied regionally to prevent terrorism and terrorism financing.