The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism’s Rabat Program Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa held the first graduation ceremony of the Specialised Training Curriculum on Counter-Terrorism Investigations at Al Akhawayn University (AUI) in Ifrane, Morocco on 10 March 2023.
During the ceremony 23 law enforcement officers including seven (7) female officers, from 6 six African countries, Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, were honored with a certificate issued by the UNOCT and Al Akhawayn University for the successful completion of nearly 400 hours of in-person training focused on strengthening technical capacities to investigate terrorism-related crimes.
The 400 hours of in-person training involves 4 modules, covering the foundational, intermediate, advanced and trainer levels over a period of 1 calendar year. Upon completion of all 4 levels, graduates will transfer their knowledge by training other law enforcement officers in their home country, with the support of the relevant national training institutions, national police academies, and UNOCT Programme Office for Counter-Terrorism and Training in Africa.
This highly specialized training will also provide a significant opportunity to trainees to build their capacities while sharing experiences, and by building a network of regional cooperation in the field of counterterrorism.
Designed and delivered by the UNOCT Rabat Programme Office and the Global Counter-Terrorism Investigations Programme, this training is the first Specialised Training Curriculum to be certified by a university.
The certification of the Specialised Training Curriculum on Counter-Terrorism Investigations promotes and advances the standardization of UNOCT capacity-building work through a comprehensive, sustainable, and accredited capacity-building framework.
The UNOCT Specialised Training on Counter-Terrorism Investigations was generously funded by the Commonwealth of Australia; the Republic of Italy; the Kingdom of Morocco; the Republic of Portugal and the United Nations Peace and Development Fund (UNPDF).
During the graduation ceremony, Mr. Mauro Miedico, Deputy Director of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre, and Director of the Special Projects and Innovation Branch at UNOCT, and Dr. Amine Bensaïd, President of Al Akhawayn University, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the UNOCT and AUI to formalize the partnership, develop the university accredited programmes and joint research activities. The President of Al Akhawayn University, Dr. Amine Bensaïd praised this multilateral initiative and expressed his full support to UNOCT and to the Moroccan government.
“Terrorism is a global problem that requires a global response. We owe it to our citizens to bring together collective action to keep them safe. Australia is a committed international partner. We will continue to work with multilateral and regional organizations, such as the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism, to shape a safer world”, stated H.E the Hon Tim Watts Australian Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs.
In his opening statement, Mr. Miedico highlighted how UNOCT Rabat Office has become a valuable state-of-the-art training hub in supporting African countries and how its courses are unique for their high level specialization, accreditation, relevance and impact.