26 February 2004
VIENNA, 26 February (UN Information Service) -- As a result of a close cooperation between the Republic of Turkey and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a Regional Workshop for Central Asia and the Caucasus on International Cooperation against Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime took place from 23 to 25 February 2004, in Antalya, Turkey.
At the workshop, 60 experts on counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as observers from France, Germany, Ukraine and the United States of America exchanged information about relevant laws their States had enacted in order to fight terrorism and transnational organized crime.
Building on this discussion, UNODC elaborated on how these frameworks could be used to facilitate international cooperation and foster ties with the relevant institutions, such as the Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC) of the United Nations Security Council, the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the South-East European Cooperative Initiative, and the Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, whose representatives all spoke at the workshop.
The workshop culminated in a Final Document, in which the participating experts confirmed their commitment to the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime, taking international human rights and humanitarian laws into account. The participants encouraged the development of a culture of intolerance towards terrorism in all its forms, in particular, through the mass media and institutions and organizations of the civil society.
The Final Document focuses on the technical assistance needed by the States with regard to the ratification and implementation of 12 international conventions and protocols against terrorism, and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols. Many experts of the participating States expressed their interest in the technical assistance by UNODC in 2004, or applying for assistance by CTC.
With a view to improve the legal framework against terrorism and transnational organized crime, the participants envisaged regular follow-up and review meetings in cooperation with UNODC and OSCE.
The statements made by the Director-General of the Turkish National Police, as well as by the representatives of CTC and UNODC, reminded the participants that the Republic of Turkey has recently been a victim of two terrorist attacks in Istanbul. In Resolution 1516 of 20 November 2003, the Security Council strongly condemned the bomb attacks, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under Resolution 1373, to cooperate in order to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of the terrorist attacks.
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For more information, please contact:
Mr. Walter Gehr and/or Ms Admirela Balic at +43 1 26060 - 4512/4130
at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna.