16/11/2001
Press Release
SOC/CP/237



GOVERNMENTS CALL FOR STRENGTHENING ANTI-TERRORISM ROLE

OF UN CENTRE FOR INTERNATIONAL CRIME PREVENTION


(Reissued as received.)


VIENNA, 16 November (UN Information Service) -- Member States, and in particular the European Union, are calling for the Vienna-based United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention to be strengthened and to initiate a project to assist Member States in ratifying and implementing the existing United Nations anti-terrorism conventions.


The Fifth Intersessional Meeting of the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice met in Vienna on Thursday 15 November 2001.


The Commission discussed the Plan of Action for the implementation of the "Vienna Declaration on Crime and Justice:  Meeting the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century", which was adopted at the Tenth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders held in Vienna in April 2000.  The focus of the discussions was on Section VII of the Action Plan which concerns action against terrorism.  The main item concerned the role the United Nations Centre for International Crime Prevention (CICP) in Vienna could play in the global fight against terrorism following the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September.


There was general agreement that the CICP and its Terrorism Prevention Branch could play an important complementary role in the global fight against terrorism and should be strengthened accordingly.


It was pointed out that the Plan of Action against terrorism already provided a framework for action by the Commission and the CICP.  Moreover, Member States, in particular the European Union States, asked the secretariat to prepare, in consultation with Member States, a project on assisting Member States with the ratification and early implementation of existing United Nations anti-terrorism conventions, as a contribution and follow-up to Security Council resolutions 1373 (2201) and 1377 (2001).


Reference was also made to significant developments in the United Nations fight against terrorism taking place in New York since the 11 September attacks, including the work of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Sixth Committee.


It was noted that there is a need for close coordination between the relevant United Nations bodies in New York and Vienna and that the United Nations' work in the fight against terrorism could build on already existing institutions and the expertise and experience available in the CICP.  The Permanent Representative of Austria expressed readiness of his Government to fund the holding of an expert group meeting on the ways the Centre could contribute to the United Nations' efforts against terrorism.  Member States indicated their wish to add the topic of counter-terrorism action to the agenda of the next session of the Crime Commission in April 2002 and the Acting Chairman of the Commission, and its Extended Bureau, were requested to continue holding informal consultations on the matter.


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