13 October 2009

Experts Meet to Strengthen Global Counter-terrorism Response

VIENNA, 13 October (UN Information Service) - At a major international workshop in Vienna, national counter-terrorism focal points are meeting for the first time to improve domestic and global efforts to prevent and counter terrorism. "This is a milestone in our efforts to increase cooperation and coordination between national and international players in our collective effort to fight this menace," said Jean-Paul Laborde, Chair of the United Nations Counter-terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), who spoke on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

The workshop, being held on 12-13 October, is designed to strengthen cooperation among national counter-terrorism experts, and to more effectively link their work to global efforts that are part of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted in 2006. That Strategy rests on four pillars: measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; measures to prevent and combat terrorism; measures to build state capacity; and measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law as the basis for the fight against terrorism. "The international community has understood that the comprehensive approach to counter-terrorism can only be successful if it is implemented in a coherent way at all levels," said Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Director General for Legal and Consular Affairs of the Austrian Foreign Ministry of European and International Affairs.

National focal points from more than 100 UN Member States as well as counter-terrorism experts from regional and international organizations are taking part in this two-day event. They are exchanging information on national experiences, challenges, and lessons learned in order to more effectively link national and global counter-terrorism efforts.

The Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa, urged participants to put their work into a wider context: "Reducing vulnerability to organized crime and strengthening the rule of law are important ends in themselves, and also help to prevent terrorism," he said.

The workshop is co-sponsored by Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Turkey as well as Costa Rica, Japan and Slovakia. It has been organized by these Member States in close cooperation with the CTITF, the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), and UNODC.

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For further information, please contact:

Walter Kemp
Spokesman and Speechwriter, UNODC
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5629
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5629
Email: walter.kemp@unodc.org