10 November 2003

Baltic Sea States Seminar on Anti-Terrorism Instruments

VIENNA 10 November 2003 (UN Information Service) --The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania co-organised a seminar on the "Ratification and Implementation of the Universal Anti-Terrorism Instruments in the Baltic Sea States". The seminar was held in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), in Vilnius, Lithuania from 7 to 8 November 2003.

The meeting served to provide guidance for the assessment of national legislation, based on the provisions of universal anti-terrorism instruments and the United Nations Security Council resolution 1373. Experts and representatives of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS) member states and observers from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the United States as well as Belarus exchanged information on their progress towards ratification and implementation of these legal instruments. They also identified obstacles in this process.

Mr. Arunas Paukste, an expert from Lithuania, raised the question of compliance with  obligations contained in the UN Security Council resolution 1373 to freeze all terrorist funds, while also respecting existing legislation.

UNODC representatives focused on the implementation process and encouraged countries to use the organization's expertise in improving national anti-terrorist legislation.

Mr. Sarunas Adomavicius, Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, emphasised the need for continuous efforts in fighting terrorism. He also noted that the countries of the Baltic Sea Region should give due consideration to a regional approach in the prevention of terrorist activities.

H.E. Helle Degn, the CBSS Commissioner, urged the participants to keep in mind human rights issues in the anti-terrorism legislative process. Experts from Norway and Sweden stressed their countries' efforts to incorporate human rights issues in adopting and amending their anti-terrorist laws.

Representatives from IMF, OSCE and the Council of Europe drew attention to the importance of financial and regional legal instruments and tools. They insisted on the need for a coordinated approach by international actors in providing technical assistance and expertise in supporting national governments in the implementation of their international obligations.  

UNODC and OSCE representatives reminded the participants that the next meeting of the Counter Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council with regional and sub-regional organizations planned in Vienna on 12 March 2004, would be an occasion to continue efforts at coordination and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

For more information, contact:

 Tel: (43-1) 26060-4177
 Fax: (43-1) 26060-5968