16 November 2006

Experts at UNODC-Sponsored Meeting Agree to Bolster Terrorism Prevention in Central and South-East Europe

VIENNA, 16 November 2006 (UN Information Service) -- Experts from 12 Central and South-East European States and nine international and regional organizations have agreed on practical measures to improve national and region-wide terrorism prevention. 

Participants at a meeting in Bucharest identified areas requiring action, particularly in strengthening the legal regime against terrorism and greater international cooperation in fighting terrorism, corruption and transnational organized crime.

The seminar, which took place from 13 to 15 November, was organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), with the support of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe.

Mr. Ion Codescu, Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Justice, underlined the threat posed by terrorism to regional stability and to the fundamental values of democracy.

The seminar was an opportunity to introduce new legal instruments against terrorism and corruption such as the 2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which entered into force on 14 December 2005.

Participants stressed the importance of ratifying and implementing all universal and regional instruments against terrorism and highlighted the need for the promotion of mutual legal assistance and extradition, as well as the implementation of bilateral agreements to improve international legal cooperation in criminal matters. They also called for the use of Interpol's I-24/7 global police communication system.

They adopted the Bucharest Declaration on International Cooperation on Countering Terrorism, Corruption and Transnational Organized Crime, which calls for cooperation in bringing to justice criminals who support or participate in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts.

The Declaration also calls for incitement to commit terrorist offences to be made a criminal offence and encourages called for implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288).

Participants identified areas in which they would welcome UNODC technical assistance, including model laws, legislative guides and training manuals, as well as special software developed by UNODC to expedite mutual legal assistance.  They also   called upon the Conference of States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption to address the needs of States to build their capacity in preparing requests for, or achieving, the recovery and return of corruption-related assets.

The experts came from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia and the Slovak Republic.

UNODC provides technical assistance to United Nations Member States to facilitate the ratification and implementation of international conventions and protocols against terrorism, money-laundering, corruption, organized crime, trafficking in persons, the smuggling of migrants, and the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms.

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For further information, contact:
Ms. Irka Kuleshnyk or Ms. Admirela Ancion
Terrorism Prevention Branch, UNODC
Tel: + 43 1 26060 4130
E-mail: irka.kuleshnyk @unodc.org  
E-mail: admirela.ancion@unodc.org