Transnational Security Report Launch and Roundtable at the ECOWAS Summit in Abuja

On the sidelines of the upcoming ECOWAS summit in Nigeria on June 28 and 29, the Munich Security Conference (MSC) will launch its new Transnational Security Report "Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows". The report presents exclusive data and analyses on illicit flows and their impact on international security. The launch event will gather senior decision-makers from governments, international organizations, the private sector, and research institutions to discuss the report's findings and to examine the role illicit flows play for transnational security in West Africa and beyond.

An impression from an MSC roundtable event (Photo: MSC / Kuhlmann)

Illicit flows – unlawful or illegitimate cross-border exchanges of people, goods, money or data – have reached an unprecedented scale and pose a grave threat to global security. In addition, they generate huge incomes for malevolent actors and drain state budgets, thereby impeding development and fortifying fragility. As a result, transnational illicit flows can contribute to the destabilization of entire regions. As states find themselves faced with similar challenges which they cannot overcome on their own, this could stimulate multilateral cooperation in practice, contributing to a reinvigoration of regional and global governance mechanisms.

The MSC's Transnational Security Report "Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows" covers selected examples of illicit flows and their impact on national, regional, and international security. It presents exclusive data and analyses compiled in close cooperation with organizations including the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the African Union Commission, Small Arms Survey, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), INTERPOL, and the World Customs Organization.  

The report will be launched on June 28 with an event on the sidelines of the summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in Abuja, Nigeria. An accompanying Roundtable on Transnational Security will examine the role illicit flows play for security in West Africa and beyond. A key aim of the event will be indentifying ways to increase cross-border and cross-sector collaboration to counter them. In order to facilitate an in-depth discussion of these critical issues, the roundtable discussion will convene around 30 decision-makers and experts. High-level participants of the ECOWAS summit, including heads of state and government and relevant ministers, will engage in a debate with representatives from academia, international organizations, and the private sector from the wider region and beyond.

Details and further information on the event will be made available on Twitter, Facebook, and on the forthcoming website of our Transnational Security Report. If you would like to receive regular updates about MSC activities, please sign up for our newsletter.

About the Transnational Security Report

The Transnational Security Report "Cooperating Across Borders: Tackling Illicit Flows" covers selected spotlights of transnational illicit flows – from the trafficking of goods, arms, and people, to illicit financial flows – which endanger global security by funding conflicts and perpetuating instability. The report illustrates regional and international security implications and provides ideas for cooperative solutions, building on ongoing efforts by many institutions across the world.

Modelled on the MSC's flagship Munich Security Report, as well as thematic reports such as the European Defence Report, the data analysis and graphics – many of them previously unpublished or updated specifically for this report – were compiled in close cooperation with renowned institutions and experts dedicated to increasing the understanding of illicit flows and transnational organized crime in its different forms and countering its threat to stability and security.

About the Transnational Security Series

Transnational security threats – cross-border, generally non-military threats to national and international security – are a byproduct of the globalized world. Trafficking in drugs, arms, and people, nuclear proliferation, the spread of terrorism and piracy and the associated illicit financial flows are only some of the issues that straddle the border between international and domestic security policy. Unlike traditional “hard” security challenges, many transnational security threats have not yet elicited the same concerted international efforts to tackle them.

Given the fact that transnational security threats know no borders, efforts to address them effectively require close exchange and cooperation between states and relevant non-state actors alike. With its new series on Transnational Security, the MSC aims to gather decision-makers and experts from academia and the private sector to discuss strategies that may help counter transnational security threats.

25. Juni 2019, von MSC