The first session of the Informal Public-Private Working Group on Precious Metals Trafficking organized by the EastWest Institute, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Russian mining and metallurgical company Norilsk Nickel. The working group’s mandate is to further Russia's G8-endorsed initiative on public-private antiterrorist partnerships in accordance with the G8 Strategy for Partnerships between States and Businesses to Counter Terrorism adopted in November 2006 in Moscow.

The session was chaired by Anatoly Safonov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime, and attended by key experts from the Russian government, major international precious metals producers, forensic laboratories, law enforcement agencies and international organizations including the UN, WCO and OSCE.

Members of the working group analyzed the problem of illegally trafficked precious metals and links to terrorist financing. They also discussed the different ways in which existing and new technologies can help to easily and quickly identify the origins of raw materials containing precious metals. Finally, participants highlighted the need to devise viable recommendations to help international organizations and policy makers tackle this issue.

In the months to come, EWI will work to gather a competent group of government security and law enforcement officials and relevant experts as well as major companies who share a stake in this issue. This working group, together with key partners, is scheduled to introduce an international system of verification and certification that traces effectively the source of all raw materials containing precious metals at the Second Global Forum for Partnerships between States and Businesses to Counter Terrorism in Moscow in December 2007.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the working group will constitute a model for further developing international public-private partnerships in the fight against terrorism and organized crime.