Director General/Executive Director
Remarks of the Executive Director UNODC at the CTITF Event on Dialogue, Understanding and Countering the Appeal of Terrorism
27 June 2012
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this important event focusing on Dialogue, Understanding and Countering the Appeal of Terrorism.
The threat of terrorism poses fundamental challenges to the international community and risks undermining the core values of the United Nations.
International terrorism is by definition a universal issue. Consequently, any multilateral action to combat terrorism must be global and incorporate cross-disciplinary expertise.
Today's discussions have enriched our on-going dialogue and helped promote exchanges of ideas on ways to counter terrorism's appeal.
On behalf of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, I hope to contribute to today's discussions by highlighting the important work we are undertaking to counter the challenge of terrorism.
UNODC provides legal technical assistance and criminal justice capacity-building activities, as requested by Member States, to help strengthen the legal and criminal justice response to terrorism.
All of our work falls within the universal legal framework against terrorism.
These efforts are important because they enable the effective prosecution of terrorist suspects.
Creating a legal framework that criminalizes involvement in any terrorist activity is vital.
Such laws help shape attitudes of society towards terrorist acts and they can have a strong preventative and deterrent effect on those, contemplating involvement in terrorism.
As part of these efforts, UNODC prepares specialized handbooks, organizes workshops and training events, and works closely with prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officials to provide tailored legal assistance.
Assistance and support to victims is a key component of a successful criminal justice response to acts of terrorism.
For this reason, UNODC is increasingly focused on the key role that victims can play before, during, and after criminal legal proceedings as well as on identifying the assistance and support that victims deserve.
In addition to the important role that victims play in criminal proceedings, victims can help prevent radicalization and show that terrorism can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time, regardless of their status.
The story of how terrorist acts have impacted on the lives of victims and those of their families, also offers a strong argument for why these acts can never be justified.
To address the key role that victims can play, UNODC has developed a technical assistance tool on The Criminal Justice Response to Support Victims of Acts of Terrorism.
This tool is intended to help Member States strengthen the implementation of legislation and policies that support and protect victims of terrorism.
Hopefully, these efforts will give victims the justice they deserve, while enabling them to find their voice.
As the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes has increased in recent years, UNODC has also made developing tools and technical assistance to address this threat, as one of its key priorities.
As other speakers have mentioned, the use of the Internet to further terrorist purposes defies national borders, so it is particularly appropriate to offer a coordinated international response to combat this threat.
In the context of today's discussions on countering the appeal of terrorism, it is particularly important to note the crucial role the internet can play in: the glorification of terrorist acts; the radicalization and recruitment of terrorists; the incitement to commit acts of terrorism; and the training of potential recruits.
UNODC stands ready to serve as a resource to Member States on the use of the internet for terrorist purposes due to the specialized and highly technical nature of these cases.
We plan to release a handbook shortly on the Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes.
The handbook will provide guidance on applicable policy and legal frameworks, good practices, and the opportunities for strengthening inter-State and private sector cooperation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As has already been stated, the threat of terrorism is multi-dimensional and must be addressed from many angles.
The discussions today have highlighted the excellent and diverse work the international community is undertaking to counter the appeal of terrorism.
UNODC looks forward to working jointly with all of you to enhance dialogue and promote good practices.