6 March 2006

UN Counter-Terrorism Body to Visit Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 5 - 10 March

NEW YORK, 3 February (UN Headquarters) -- A nine-person United Nations expert team is travelling to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia for a week-long visit to continue the Security Council's practical, technical assistance work to strengthen the ability of countries to fight terrorism.

Members of the UN's Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) will be in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from 5 to 10 March 2006.

The team also includes experts from the Council of Europe, the European Commission, the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

A unique feature of this visit -- the seventh conducted by the CTED since March 2005 -- is the ongoing cooperation with international and regional organizations to develop and strengthen technical assistance programmes for counter-terrorism activities.  Some of the organizations involved include INTERPOL, the OSCE, and the European Union Police Mission in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (EUPOL PROXIMA) and its Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilization (CARDS).

The purpose of country visits is to extend the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee's ability to monitor, on location and in practice, how Member States implement the provisions of Security Council resolution 1373 adopted in 2001, as well as to evaluate the nature and level of assistance that a particular country may need in order to fulfil those obligations.

The resolution -- which also established the Counter-Terrorism Committee -- calls on countries to implement a number of measures to enhance their legal and institutional capacity to be in a better position to counter terrorist activities nationally, regionally and globally.

On-site dialogue with Member States is a new phase of work which the CTED began last year with its first country visit to Morocco in mid-March 2005, followed by trips to Kenya, Albania, Thailand and Algeria.  The visit to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia comes on the heels of a CTED trip last month to the United Republic of Tanzania.  The Counter-Terrorism Committee and its expert body, CTED, which was established in 2004, have been collecting written reports from Member States on how the various anti-terrorism measures set out by resolution 1373 are being implemented.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has submitted four reports to the Committee -- all of which are accessible by the general public through the Counter-Terrorism Committee website ( ).

Following each visit, the counter-terrorism experts compile a report based on their observations, which may also include the assistance needs of the country.  It is based on those needs and in full cooperation and consent with the respective Member State that the CTED then works with donor countries and international organizations to help meet those assistance requirements.

For more information on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee/CTED (including the periodic reports of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), you can visit the Committee's website at ; or contact Mitch Hsieh, CTED Public Information Officer, tel: +1-212-457-1712, or e-mail: ; or Janos Tisovszky of the UN Department of Public Information, tel: +1-917-367-2068, or e-mail: .

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