Countries from the Horn of Africa at a United Nations-sponsored meeting have reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime and voiced their serious concern about the menace these problems pose in the region.
The countries adopted their declaration at a workshop on "International Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime," in Khartoum, Sudan, from 17 to 19 January.
Experts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda - members of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - as well as observers from Algeria and Egypt joined the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and other intergovernmental organizations in focusing on helping IGAD members with the ratification and implementation of a dozen international legal instruments against terrorism and the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols.
The "Khartoum Declaration" also called on UNODC and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to develop joint technical assistance programmes on counter-terrorism while fully respecting human rights, and encouraged the IGAD Member States to use the assistance of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) to ensure an adequate exchange of information in the area of counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Last June, IGAD Member States adopted a Plan of Action against Terrorism in which they pledged to swiftly ratify and implement the 12 international anti-terrorism treaties. The Khartoum Declaration is expected to build on the achievements of the IGAD Secretariat and its member States towards the implementation of this Plan of Action.