VIENNA/RIYADH, 14 February - During a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov highlighted the need to enhance regional and inter-regional law enforcement cooperation to prevent terrorism.
Addressing an inter-regional meeting on 13 February, Mr. Fedotov encouraged the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices on terrorism prevention: "All of your countries share the common goals of stopping the spread of terrorism and preventing terrorist attacks, so it is in the common interest that you work together and help each other."
UNODC's presence in the region, which is a major transit route for Afghan drugs, is growing. Terrorism is facilitated by opium trafficked westward from Afghanistan, organized crime and corruption, which are best addressed through a comprehensive approach based on cooperation. However, Mr. Fedotov said stronger national capacity would be the foundation on which to build a wide network of law enforcement and counter-terrorism officials.
Since the threat of terrorism was spreading through the Gulf States, UNODC is also keen to promote inter-regional cooperation between North Africa and the Middle East, the Gulf and South-West Asia. UNODC recently launched a programme in Yemen to address developmental and security issues such as drug trafficking; and criminal networks (including terrorism and its financing).
Mr. Fedotov commended His Royal Highness Prince Naïf Ahmad Bin Abdul-Aziz, Deputy Minister of Interior and Head of the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, for encouraging a regional approach to combating a common menace.
Mr. Fedotov also visited the Naif University, which is the main partner of UNODC in building criminal justice capacity throughout the Gulf region. The state-of-the-art Academy has been promoting the exchange of knowledge and training law enforcement and criminal justice officials in the region. As such, it is the regional leader in providing training in security sciences.
During his trip, the Executive Director also met with the head of the national Anti-Terrorism Committee, Fahed Al Maghloth. Mr. Fedotov praised Saudi Arabia for ratifying twelve of the sixteen international conventions and protocols pertaining to terrorism.
For more information please contact:
In Abu Dhabi: Hatem Aly, UNODC Representative, Subregional Office for the Gulf States, Tel: (+971-56) 123-5951
In Vienna: Preeta Bannerjee, Public Information Officer, UNODC,Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5764,Email: firstname.lastname@example.org