Between October 9 and 11, 2019, The Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights is organizing the first National Strategic Dialogue (NSD) on Illicit Trade in Albania (Tirana). The three-days programme involves several representatives of the major national institutions engaged in the fight against illicit trade. In particular, it brings together criminal justice officials from state- and entity-level institutions responsible for combating illicit trade, criminal investigators, intelligence analysts, prosecutors and members of the judiciary and many other national experts.
The opening ceremony was held yesterday morning morning with the opening of Mr. Filippo Musca, Acting Director General of the Siracusa International Institute. Additional remarks were also given by His Excellency Alberto Cutillo, Ambassador of Italy to Albania, Ambassador Bernd Borchardt, Head of the OSCE Presence in Albania and Mr. Kreshnik Ajazi, Representative of the Albanian School of Magistrates.
The NSD mainly aims to:
- build knowledge and awareness about illicit trade as a multi-faceted threat requiring both whole-of-Government and whole-of-society approaches;
- Highlight the importance of incorporating a robust cross-sectoral perspective in efforts to combat illicit trade at the national and international levels;
- draw on the expertise, extensive experience and insights of national leaders, policy-makers and criminal justice officials in developing a more comprehensive understanding of national strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the fight against illicit trade; and
- strengthen cooperation and collaboration between national institutions and criminal justice officials in the investigation and prosecution of illicit trade-related crimes.
The three-day initiative is organised within the framework of the Institute’s two-year research and capacity-building project, ‘Strengthening the Fight Against Illicit Trade in South Eastern Europe’ (or SEE-IMPACT), which is supported by PMI IMPACT, a global grant initiative of Philip Morris International to support projects dedicated to fighting illicit trade and related crimes.
SEE-IMPACT involves twelve countries of the Balkans area (Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, Republic of North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey). The NSD in Albania is therefore only one of the national initiatives that the Institute already organized (or will organize) in the in other countries of the project.
This initiative follows the first National Strategic Dialogue in the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (May-September 2019) and the first High-Level Regional Strategic Dialogue (RSD) on Illicit Trade in South Eastern Europe, which was held last December at the Institute’s headquarters in Siracusa. The RSD included institutional representatives from all the countries of the SEE-IMPACT project and several officials of international organizations. The event was attended, among others, by high representatives of Albanian institutions. The next National Strategic Dialogue on illicit trade will be held in Romania, at the end of October.