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PM to open symposium on terrorism

12 May 2002 Media Statement

PM to open symposium on terrorism

Prime Minister Helen Clark will tomorrow evening open a symposium in Wellington on international terrorism and its implications for New Zealand and its neighbours.

The symposium, World Terrorism and Political Violence: Implications for New Zealand and the South Pacific, is being hosted by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Victoria University and the New Zealand Police.

Helen Clark said today that eight months after the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States, it was appropriate for New Zealand to be examining the implications for security.

“Those responsible for the horrific violence of 11 September demonstrated a determination and level of planning which was frightening.

“Before 11 September counter-terrorism efforts by many countries had been ad hoc and in response to particular incidents or situations, with only a very few countries fully engaged.

"It is now vitally important that the international community work together to combat terrorism, including through effective counter-terrorist policies and capabilities.

“New Zealand may be geographically remote and an unlikely target, but we are playing our part in international efforts to combat and suppress terrorism.

“The discussions at the symposium will be very useful in reviewing what New Zealand has already done and in determining how we move forward,” Helen Clark said.

Overseas speakers at the symposium will include Dr Rohan Gunaratna, Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, University of St Andrew’s, Scotland; Dr Peter Chalk, policy analyst in the Project Airforce and National Security divisions of the RAND Corporation, Washington DC; Dr Kevin O’Brien, a senior policy analyst with RAND Europe Cambridge, working on issues relating to counter-terrorism and intelligence policy; and Angus Muir, whose PhD research work at the University of St Andrew’s examines religiously motivated extremism and terrorism.

The symposium, being held at the Hotel Inter-Continental, opens on Monday evening and runs throughout Tuesday.


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