Annan says UN crime fighting agency integral in struggle against terrorism
Over the past year, the United Nations agency charged with fighting crime and traffic in illicit drugs has become an important player in the struggle against terrorism, helping States to ratify international agreements and to create legislation on the issue, according to a new report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"The Office is particularly experienced in work pertaining to the development of state capacity to prevent terrorism, especially through the provision of legal technical assistance to requesting member States and the promotion of international cooperation in criminal matters," Mr. Annan says in the report to the General Assembly, which last year requested the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) to intensify its efforts in those areas.
"By utilizing its specialized expertise and comparative advantages, as well as by fostering and strengthening both inter-agency and intra-agency partnerships, UNODC makes a substantive contribution to the global effort against terrorism and more specifically to the Secretary-General's comprehensive global strategy against terrorism," he adds.
In the report, Mr. Annan requests UNODC to reinforce its work in the areas of the rule of law, the building of viable criminal justice systems and strengthening international cooperation against terrorism.
In that regard, he also asks the agency to begin work on the recently adopted International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, in consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
"The terrorist attacks of the past year, including the hostage-taking in Beslan, Russian Federation, in September 2004 and the recent bombings in London in July 2005, once again brought the urgency of addressing the threat of international terrorism to the attention of the international community," he stresses.