Director General/ Exeucitve Director
Remarks of the Executive Director UNODC on the Universal Anti-terrorism Instruments on Terrorist Use of Explosive Substances
10 May 2012
Secretary General Zannier,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Terrorism represents a serious threat to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and economic and social development.
In the 21 st Century, the number of terrorism attacks has increased. The weapon of choice in these attacks is often explosives.
Sadly, the UN continues to be a soft target for terrorists.
In August last year, a car bomb detonated outside the UN building in Abuja, Nigeria, killing 25 people, 12 of them UN staff members. One of them a UNODC staff member.
And, there have been other attacks on UN premises. In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Algeria, and in Iraq.
All of these attacks have caused death and destruction, but they have also struck at the very universal principles on which our organization is founded.
However, rather than weakening our resolve, these attacks have strengthened our determination to detect and to prevent terrorism.
At the UN General Assembly, Member States acted decisively to unanimously adopt the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in September 2006.
Sixteen universal counter-terrorism instruments have also been adopted. In particular, the 1997 United Nations International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing.
The UN Security Council has also demonstrated its own commitment by adopting binding resolutions against terrorist acts.
From these initiatives there is an appreciation that terrorism requires an integrated and comprehensive global approach.
UNODC's objective is to support Member States by building capacities and offering technical assistance at the national, regional and global levels.
In particular, UNODC is focused on strengthening the capacity of criminal justice officials to deal with acts of terrorism, and a range of potentially linked criminal activities.
We have also adopted an inter-agency approach that enhances coordination among UN agencies and other partners.
This has been achieved through CTED (Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate), and CTITF (Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force), as well as with regional partners such as the OSCE.
Based on their comparative advantages, UNODC and OSCE have much to offer each other and the international community.
Indeed, we have recently organized national and sub-regional workshops on terrorism in the OSCE region.
I would also advocate four key areas, where working together, UNODC and OSCE can help to counter terrorism by promoting a coherent criminal justice response.
First, we must ensure that every country implements the relevant international standards on terrorism. But we need to go further.
Drugs, crime and terrorism are often interconnected, if only for opportunistic reasons. For this reason, we need to take a multidisciplinary approach.
Second, we must also concentrate on detection. One way is to develop public/private sector relationships that can monitor the sale and purchase of the precursors for bombs.
Third, if we are to succeed against terrorists, we also need to strengthen the relations between intelligence, law enforcement and prosecutors.
Prevention of terrorism is founded on a criminal justice strategy that enables information to flow swiftly between these groups to dismantle terrorist networks and to successfully prosecute and imprison terrorists.
We need to raise awareness among Member States and to share experiences and best practices, while also building capacities throughout the law enforcement chain.
Fourth, we need more research, more analysis, more of an understanding of how terrorism operates. Knowledge is power.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The use of explosives for terrorist purposes remains a serious threat.
Let us dedicate this conference to the lives lost to terrorism across the globe.
But, let us dedicate ourselves to building a strong strategic response to terrorist challenges based on cooperation and coordination.