For information only - not an official document

10 May 2012

OSCE, UNODC hold joint conference on the terrorist use of explosives

VIENNA, 10 May (UN Information Service) - A two-day conference aimed at improving the control of explosive substances in order to hinder terrorists' access to them, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) started in Vienna today.

"Recent terrorist attacks in Ukraine and the Russian Federation are a tragic reminder of the urgency to hinder terrorist access to explosive substances," said Lamberto Zannier, the OSCE Secretary General, in his opening remarks. "Today's event highlights our strong commitment to strengthen control over such substances and to lessen the terrorist threat."

UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, said: "There is an appreciation that terrorism requires an integrated and comprehensive global approach. UNODC's objective is to support UN Member States by building capacities and offering technical assistance at the national, regional and global levels."

Fedotov noted that successful delivery of technical assistance by UNODC to UN Member States to suppress and prevent terrorism had been fostered through co-operation with regional and international organizations, in particular the OSCE.  Drawing on their comparative advantages, UNODC and OSCE had much to offer each other and the international community, he added.

During the conference, more than 170 experts from 54 OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, eleven international and regional organizations, as well as private sector representatives will discuss investigation methods, early warning, detection systems and multilateral initiatives. Experts will also share experiences on legal and practical tools to improve effectiveness in the control of explosives and chemical substances, in the situation where fertilizers and many other chemicals, which can be used by terrorists to prepare homemade explosives, are easily accessible in the market.

Zannier said that the conference aimed at providing its participants with a better understanding of what is required to prevent explosive-related terrorist attacks and how the OSCE, working together with its partners, can contribute to this effort in the most effective way.

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