Press Releases

    15 June 2004

    Afghan Authorities Request UN Assistance in Drafting the Legislation Against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime

    VIENNA, 15 June (UN Information Service) -- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) experts provided advice to Afghan officials in Kabul on the legislative measures needed against terrorism and transnational organized crime. The mission took place from 7 to 9 June 2004 and followed an official visit to Afghanistan by Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of UNODC.

    The technical assistance mission including a related workshop was carried out in the context of the Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions of 5 December 2001 (the Bonn Agreement). According to the Bonn Agreement, the Interim Authority, the international community and the United Nations shall cooperate in the fight against terrorism, drugs and organized crime. The visit also came after the Constitutional Loya Jirga had adopted the Constitution of the Transitional Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on 4 January 2004. According to Article 7 of the new Constitution, the State of Afghanistan ”prevents all types of terrorist activities, cultivation and smuggling of narcotic drugs and production and consumption of intoxicants”.

    In their opening statements at the workshop, Abdul Rahim Karimi, Minister of Justice of Afghanistan, and Mohammad Yunus Qanooni, Minister of Education, expressed their hope that the workshop would result in a new anti-terrorism law, as the fight against terrorism was a priority for Afghanistan. They emphasized the need for training of practitioners in implementing the new legislation. Education, alleviation of poverty and development of a democratic environment, which includes freedom of speech, were seen as essential for the prevention and suppression of terrorism and crime.

    Together with Afghan officials, the UNODC team explored in detail the legislative implementation of the twelve international legal instruments against terrorism and of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols. The team presented the international legal framework against terrorism and transnational organized crime, and highlighted obligations of States under the relevant Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). Specific drafting recommendations for inclusion into the 1976 Penal Code of Afghanistan were made accordingly. UNODC was asked by the Afghan authorities to provide draft legislation against terrorism, as well as specific provisions implementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols on trafficking in persons, smuggling of migrants and manufacturing and trafficking in firearms. A draft anti-terrorism project of law was provided by the UNODC experts.

    The two-day workshop was attended, among others, by fifty representatives from various ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Defense, as well as representatives from the Independent Commission on Human Rights.

    The UNODC team also held several consultations on the issue of international cooperation against terrorism and transnational organized crime in Afghanistan with senior representatives of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as with the representative of Italy, which takes a lead in assisting Afghanistan to reform its judicial sector.

    Afghanistan is a party to most international legal instruments against terrorism and transnational organized crime. For instance, Afghanistan acceded to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and to the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism in 2003.

    For more information, please contact:
    Walter Gehr at + 43 1 26060 4512 and/or Admirela Balic at + 43 1 26060 4130 at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna.

                                                      * *** *