Press Releases

    3 March 2004

    International Experts Discuss Response to Terrorism, Crime Links

    VIENNA, 3 March (UN Information Service) -- In response to a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) convened a group of international experts to develop guidelines for technical assistance within the framework of international cooperation against terrorism. The deliberations took place at the Institute for Security Studies in Cape Town, South Africa, from 24 to 27 February 2004.

    The group of 20 experts included representatives from international and regional organizations such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Council of the European Union, the International Association of Prosecutors, the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, the United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (UNAFRI), and the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council.

    Participants also met with the chairman of the South African Parliamentary Committee on Safety and Security, Muleki E. George, who informed the experts on the new Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Bill, which was before the South African parliament at the time.

    The expert group took note of and reviewed a series of reports and draft documents prepared by the International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Police, the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the UNODC and the Institute for Security Studies. This included an analysis of the response of the UN Member States to the questionnaire on the nature of links between terrorism and related forms of crime. The UNODC will present the analysis and a summary of the response, along with the opinion of the expert group to the 13th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in May 2004.

    Based on its findings, in particular with regard to the widespread involvement of terrorist groups in various other forms of crime, the expert group drafted ten guidelines reflecting new and extended parameters for technical assistance to be provided within the framework of international cooperation in criminal matters. It recommended, inter alia, new methods of delivering technical assistance, such as mentoring for criminal justice officers, so as to enable requesting countries to make better use of existing instruments for mutual legal assistance and extradition. The expert group also pointed out that, where there are links between terrorism and other forms of crime, full use should be made of appropriate tools contained in all relevant international Conventions and Protocols, including the Palermo Convention on Transnational Organized Crime. 

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    For further information, please contact:

    Alex Schmid and/or Michael de Feo at Tel: +43 1 26060-4177, Fax: +43 1 26060-5968,
    at the Terrorism Prevention Branch, UNODC, Vienna.