UN and international experts meet to chart future course of counterterrorism measures

The two-day meeting, which began with a minute of silence in honour of the victims of the Madrid attacks, aims to recommend concrete suggestions to strengthen the planning, coordination and execution of future joint activities, and move towards strengthening the exchange of information in a bid to stem the terrorist scourge.Today’s session addressed current and emerging threats, with two working sessions focused on the danger posed to civil aviation by Man-Portable Air Defence Systems (MANPADS) and on the need to break the nexus between terrorism and organized crime.Tomorrow’s session will look at preventing the financing of terrorism; ratification and implementation of 12 international anti-terrorism instruments; border management issues; and coordination among key organizations at all levels.Speaking at the event, organized by the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said there is strong evidence of a close link between terrorism and organized criminal activities, including trafficking in drugs, firearms and human beings, as well as money-laundering.”These crimes both precede and accompany terrorist crimes, since terrorist groups operate in the same black markets where organized crime is active. We can weaken terrorist groups by going forcefully after their profit-oriented activities,” Mr. Costa said, underscoring the need to survey and monitor the multiple connections between terrorism and profit-driven transnational crimes.Ambassador Inocencio Arias of Spain, Chairman of the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), opened today’s meeting by calling for improvements in the way international organizations coordinate and collaborate in fighting global terrorism. He pointed to the collaboration between the OSCE and the UNODC as an example for other organizations to adopt.OSCE Secretary General Jan Kubi? said that focused, expert, technical anti-terrorism workshops such as those recently organized by the OSCE’s Action against Terrorism Unit were yielding concrete results. He joined other organizations represented at the conference in supporting the leadership of the CTC in ensuring cohesion in the collective actions of international, regional and sub-regional organizations. read more