1 December 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Prosecutors, Criminal Law Experts on Front Lines of International Combat Against


Terrorism, Secretary-General Tells Seminar on Bringing Terrorists to Justice


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, delivered by Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, to the Counter-Terrorism Committee Practitioners’ Seminar on Bringing Terrorists to Justice, in New York, today, 1 December:

I am honoured to welcome you to this important seminar on bringing terrorists to justice, and to address you on behalf of the Secretary-General, who unfortunately could not participate today due to another engagement overseas.

In your work, you come face-to-face with shattered lives, with instability, and the cycle of violence caused by terrorism.  But you also know first-hand the power of prosecutors to respond by holding perpetrators to account and getting justice — for the victims and survivors, for entire societies, for the cause of international peace and security.

Your presence here today shows you know something else as well:  the leading role played by the United Nations in coordinating the international response to terrorism.

The Security Council has adopted a series of resolutions, with a view to preventing and suppressing this persistent and evolving threat.

The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, adopted by the General Assembly in 2006, reaffirmed our collective condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes.  The Global Strategy takes a broad and integrated approach involving education, development, conflict prevention and intercultural dialogue.

All States should develop comprehensive legal frameworks, adhering to the provisions in the Strategy, the relevant Security Council resolutions and international counter-terrorism instruments.

At the same time, States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with international law, particularly international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law.

I congratulate all those who have worked to ensure that human rights are a fundamental part of our dialogue with States in the area of counter-terrorism.  I welcome the initiative of the Committee and its Executive Directorate (CTED) to convene seminars, such as this one, in various parts of the world.  And I thank all of our partners in this field.

The Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee convened this seminar because it understands the vital importance of cooperation in addressing terrorism in all its aspects.

You here today are central to fulfilling international obligations at the national level.  Your day-to-day work as prosecutors and experts places you on the frontlines of denying safe haven, strengthening border controls, pursuing leads, all in the name of bringing terrorists to justice and helping victims and survivors.

Sharing information among countries is critical if we are to successfully coordinate our multifaceted response to terrorism.

That is why this seminar is so important.  You will be hearing from experts on a range of topics, from using electronic evidence to protecting human rights, from tracking down terrorist financing to investigating attacks, from the treatment of witnesses and victims to issues surrounding extradition.

Our collective knowledge must not be confined within these four walls.  As a follow-up to this seminar, CTED is expected to compile and submit to the Committee, for its consideration, good practices developed and employed by the participating prosecutors for sharing with Member States as well as international, regional and subregional organizations.

Prosecutors play a uniquely important role in bringing terrorists to justice.  The United Nations is grateful for this opportunity to benefit from your expertise and experience.  I look forward to hearing the outcome of your discussions.  And I wish you great success, not only here in the coming days, but well into the future as we continue our shared struggle against terrorism.

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For information media • not an official record