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12 March 2004

“The International Community Must Join Forces Against Terrorism”, Says Executive Director of UNODC Antonio Maria Costa In a Statement on the Occasion of Terrorist Attacks in Spain

VIENNA, 12 March (UN Information Service) -- Following is a statement by Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the occasion of terrorist attacks in Madrid, Spain, on 11 March:

On behalf of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, I would like to express the deepest sympathy to the people of Spain and our strong conviction -- as the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday -- that “killing of innocent people cannot be justified regardless of the cause.” This latest brutal terrorist attack is another stark reminder of how important it is for the international community as a whole to join forces in facing this most vicious threat of our time.

The news of the senseless killing in Madrid came at the moment when the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council (CTC), the  representatives and experts of the United Nations, and the Organization for Cooperation  and Security in Europe (OSCE), as well as of dozens of their member states, meet in Vienna to explore ways and means to enhance joint counter-terrorism activities.

We at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are strongly committed to contribute in strengthening common defences against terrorism. Our mandate covers most of the underlining factors that make our world vulnerable to large scale crime and terrorism. Whether it is trafficking -- in drugs, in firearms, in human beings -- or corruption and money-laundering, or lack of rule of law, we often find it closely related to terrorist activities. Terrorism is a social evil related to others.  The CTC is working together with UNODC and with other international and regional organizations, such as OSCE, we can weaken the terrorists’ base by depriving them of their illegal sources of income. In doing so, we need to enhance a multilateral surveillance which looks at terrorism and related forms of crime in an integrated way.

Enhancing our joint efforts against terrorism is the most appropriate way to honour the victims of senseless violence in Spain and elsewhere around the globe.

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