Press Release



(Reissued as received.)

VIENNA, 23 January (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Government of the Sudan jointly organized a workshop on “International Cooperation on Counter-Terrorism and the Fight against Transnational Organized Crime”, held from 17 to 19 January 2004, in Khartoum, Sudan.

The workshop was attended by experts from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda, member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as by observers from Algeria and Egypt.  The following organizations and institutions also participated in the workshop:  African Union, Commonwealth Secretariat, Council of Arab Ministers of Interior, European Union, IGAD Secretariat, International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), International Monetary Fund (IMF), Institute for Security Studies, League of Arab States, Naif University, Organization of Islamic Conference, United Nations African Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

On 19 January 2004, the workshop culminated in the “Khartoum Declaration on Terrorism and Transnational Organized Crime”, in which IGAD member States reaffirmed their commitment to the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime and expressed their serious concern about the menace these problems pose in the region.  Among other issues, the “Khartoum Declaration” focused on technical assistance needs of IGAD member 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.  As such, the representatives of six IGAD member States envisaged to request technical assistance concerning legislative implementation of these legal instruments from UNODC and other international, regional and subregional organizations in the course of 2004.

The “Khartoum Declaration” also called upon the UNODC and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to develop joint technical assistance programmes on counter-terrorism while fully respecting human rights, and encouraged the IGAD member States to use the assistance of INTERPOL to ensure an adequate exchange of information in the area of counter-terrorism and transnational organized crime.

In June 2003, IGAD member States had adopted in Kampala, Uganda, a Plan of Action against Terrorism in which they pledged to swiftly ratify and implement the 12 international conventions and protocols for the prevention and suppression of terrorism.  The “Khartoum Declaration” is expected to build on the achievements of the IGAD Secretariat and its member States towards the implementation of this Plan of Action against Terrorism.

The workshop, which was also attended by a wide spectrum of relevant international, regional, and subregional organizations and institutions, provided an opportunity, not only to share the experiences in countering terrorism and transnational organized crime, but also to strengthen international cooperation, including the provision of technical assistance and the launching of joint initiatives.

For more information, please contact Walter Gehr, tel: +43 1 26060 4512, and/or Admirela Balic, tel: +43 1 26060 4130 at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Vienna.

United Nations Information Service (UNIS), Vienna

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