Budapest, 17 June 2011
Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured on behalf of UN Office on Drugs and Crime to co-organise this seminar along with the Government of Hungary, and in cooperation with the UN Office of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force.
My thanks also to H.E. János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary for hosting this meeting. I knew from my first meeting with the Hungarian Counter-Terrorism Ambassador, Györgyi Martin-Zanathy, and Ambassador Balázs Csuday, that this seminar would be a success.
Adopted in 2006, the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy is the blueprint of the international community's plan to defeat terrorism.
There are four pillars to the Strategy: tackling the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating terrorism; building States' capacity and to strengthen the role of the United Nations system in that regard; and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for the fight against terrorism
At each pillar's base lie the international instruments regulating counter-terrorism. Along their length run the crucial relationships between UNODC, the UN Counter-Terrorism Task Force, and other actors, all focusing on strategy implementation. On top, balancing each pillar, rest the various cooperative efforts at the international, regional and sub-regional levels. Finally, each pillar is firmly grounded in the rule of law and profound respect for human rights.
UNODC is an active participant of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force promoting legal and technical assistance on counter-terrorism.
Under the Counter-Terrorism Strategy, Member States undertake to implement all counter-terrorism conventions and protocols and cooperate with other Member States and UN bodies. UNODC assists Member States to maintain effective rule of law-based criminal justice systems.
Meeting these challenges, UNODC has established a unified justice response requiring widespread ratification and implementation of the legal instruments against terrorism.
Since 2003, we have helped countries to ratify and implement these instruments, as well as assist them in building the capacity of their national criminal justice systems. The implementation program is a success, but work remains to be done.
I place great value on the number of requests for capacity building assistance from Member States. They signal your political commitment to capitalize on previous achievements. And, they indicate a desire to address ongoing needs.
Complimenting our technical and capacity building expertise is our ability to draw upon our global field presence through our integrated programmatic approach. Field offices have a wealth of experience that assists governments and their practitioners to understand the relationship between terrorism and other crimes.
UNODC has an important role in the "I-ACT Initiative"-the Integrated Assistance for Countering Terrorism-information system. I-ACT integrates the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and identifies gaps in country level assistance.
We also participate in working groups on the various counter-terrorism areas. For example, UNODC co-chairs-with the World Bank-the CTITF Working Group on Tackling the Financing of Terrorism.
Together these approaches highlight the scope of UNODC activities to implement the Strategy. They reflect a rule of law based approach and they place the victim at the centre of all our processes. Such projects also confirm my own belief that a well functioning criminal justice system is essential to countering terrorism.
Before finishing, I should like to address one issue I believe is within the gift of all of us to solve. For the successful implementation of the strategy's four pillars, exchange of information is vital. Each of the pillars is composed of the building blocks of information necessary to prevent and combat terrorism. To translate strategy into action, we need the quick transference of this information.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I finish with a quote attributed to the American car manufacturer Henry Ford, who understood something of the need to build a joint approach, ''Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.''
I quote this as a reminder to us all that, if we are to succeed in combating terrorism, we must cooperate on all issues, at all levels.