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Counter-Terrorism Success Hinges On Implementation

Success of counter-terrorism strategy hinges on implementation - UN

The success of the landmark Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy ultimately hinges on its complete implementation, United Nations officials and others closely involved with the initiative said today.

The Strategy - adopted by the General Assembly last September after a year of sometimes fractious negotiations as countries worked to overcome their differences - is the first global and common approach to tackle terrorism.

It has four main pillars of action, focusing on addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building State capacity and bolstering the role of the UN; and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law against the backdrop of the fight against terrorism.

However, the Strategy "will only be a historic achievement if it is implemented," Robert Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, told reporters in New York.

Mr. Orr, who also chairs the Secretary-General's Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, added that "the focus at this point in time is on the implementation of this very significant document."

An informal meeting - in which two of the Assembly's 21 Vice-Presidents presided over its two separate sessions - was held yesterday at Headquarters to assess to what extent the Strategy has been put into practice.

Baki Ilkin, Turkey's Permanent Representative, observed today at a press briefing that during the session he led, the participants stressed the importance of the Strategy's concrete implementation and also that "it should be held under constant review and monitoring to assess the progress being made."

Delegates also called for improved dialogue - particularly interreligious and intercultural discourse - to improve understanding and increase tolerance worldwide, he noted.

"The fact that no religion or culture can be associated with violence or terror came out very strongly in the discussion."

During the session he chaired, Ambassador Elbio Rosselli of Uruguay said that the issue of terrorism's victims - including their rights, survivors and their relatives - featured very prominently.

"Therefore, there was strong support among the membership to emphasize that no justification exists for torture," he said.

In his concluding remarks at the end of yesterday's meeting, Assembly President Srgjan Kerim said that the gathering is a manifestation of the determination of Member States, the Task Force and civil society "to work together in this common effort to go forward with the implementation of all aspects of the Strategy."

But he cautioned that ongoing efforts to heighten awareness of the initiative are key. "These discussions should not stay in New York but be translated into furthering integrated and coordinated actions in your capitals," he told the delegates.

The formal review of the Strategy's implementation will take place next September.


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