New head of UN anti-terrorism office outlines comprehensive battle plan

19 October 2004

The senior United Nations official charged with counter-terrorism today pledged to intensify efforts to bring together governments, international organizations and other key players in a comprehensive fight against the scourge.

Addressing the Council at the outset of a daylong discussion involving all 15 members and representatives of some 20 other countries, Javier Ruperez, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Secretariat, said his office would help countries that are struggling to meet international requirements in the fight against terror. "It is only in this way that we can begin to close the gap and make more difficult, day by day, the deadly and destructive work of the terrorists."

Mr. Ruperez, who was began in the job in June, said he has initiated contact with key agencies whose work relates to the fight against terror, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Organization of American States (OAS), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), African Union (AU), European Union (EU), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

"We need to build cooperation not only among Member States but also international, regional and subregional organizations," he said. "And for those reasons, the Executive Directorate will double efforts to encourage Member States to comply fully with the obligations which they have before them so that they will be armed with the legal and administrative tools to confront the threat of terrorism with full attachment to international law."

He noted that the world is counting on the UN's leadership in the global campaign against terrorism. "I shall put forth all my efforts to ensure that the Executive Directorate responds fully to the wishes of the international community in this regard," he said.

In a presidential statement adopted at the end of the meeting, the Council stressed the UN's role in the global fight against terrorism, and reaffirmed the efforts of its Counter-terrorism Committee (CTC) to help countries battle the scourge.

The statement, read out by Council President Ambassador Adam Thomson of the United Kingdom, noted the importance of continuing the CTC's efforts to enhance the ability of Member States to fight terrorism, including identifying and addressing the problems countries face in carrying out their obligations under resolution 1373.

The Committee was set up to monitor and help in the implementation of that landmark text, which was adopted in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks against the United States. It contains wide-ranging obligations on the part of countries to prevent, fight and prosecute terrorist acts, as well as make periodic reports.

The Council's statement today also invited the CTC to continue working on putting into place plans to revitalize its work, including the new Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, as well as its next three month work plan.

"These measures will embrace further work to increase the Committee's capacity, including through enhanced cooperation with the Al-Qaida/Taliban Sanctions Committee," the statement said, referring to another Council body overseeing compliance with punitive measures against those two groups.

At the outset of its session, the Council heard a briefing by the CTC Chairman, Ambassador Andrey I. Denisov of the Russian Federation, who said that over the past three months, the Executive Directorate had been consolidated, and that the Committee had been able to speed up the process of reviewing reports by Member States.

"I would like to emphasize that the fight against terrorism needs to be sustained effectively and with dynamism. It requires a consolidated and wide-ranging multinational response," he said.

"By strengthening its structural and working capacity the CTC is determined to continue playing a proactive role and to provide guidance to international cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism, one of the strongest threats to peace and security."

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Video:

Morning session - [2hrs 44mins]

Afternoon session - [2hrs 02mins]

 

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