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UN: Global Fight Against Terrorism Boosted

UN-OSCE Meeting Outlines Steps To Boost Global Fight Against Terrorism

In the aftermath of yesterday's brutal terrorist attacks in Spain, delegates to an international conference on terrorism in Vienna today reaffirmed the central role of the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) in the global effort to fight the scourge.

The two-day meeting, co-hosted by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), adopted the "Vienna Declaration," which acknowledges the need to give help to a large number of UN Member States to implement the provisions of Security Council resolution 1373 and the 12 anti-terrorism treaties.

That landmark resolution, adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 terror attacks against the United States, established the CTC and called on Member States to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, refrain from providing any support to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, and deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support and commit such acts.

"What we need is a serious, active, efficient and practical international cooperation, not cooperation on paper," the CTC Chairman, Ambassador Inocencio Arias of Spain, said at a press briefing at the conclusion of the meeting. "The full implementation of the existing UN conventions is vital in diminishing the terrorist threat."

The Vienna Declaration identifies several areas of further cooperation in counter-terrorism, including coordination and exchange of information to meet countries' capacity-building needs, a comprehensive compilation of assistance offers and programmes to facilitate efficiency, joint technical assistance programmes, and visits to countries requesting aid.

In related news, the head of UNODC issued a statement today reiterating the world body's commitment to fighting terrorism a day after a series of bomb blast struck three train stations in Madrid, killing nearly 200 people and injuring more than 1,400.

Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa said the brutal terrorist attack "is another stark reminder of how important it is for the international community as a whole to join forces in facing this most vicious threat of our time."

He noted that UNODC's mandate covers most of the underlining factors that make the world vulnerable to large-scale crime and terrorism. "Whether it is trafficking - in drugs, in firearms, in human beings - or corruption and money-laundering, or lack of rule of law, we often find it closely related to terrorist activities," the statement said, adding that the CTC is working together with UNODC and with other international and regional organizations, such as the OSCE, to weaken the terrorists' base by depriving them of their illegal sources of income.

"Enhancing our joint efforts against terrorism is the most appropriate way to honour the victims of senseless violence in Spain and elsewhere around the globe," he said.

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