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Counter-Terrorism Committee to hold special meeting in Strasbourg

The Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, with the support of the Council of Europe, will hold a special meeting on the theme "Prevention of Terrorism" from 19 to 21 April 2011 in Strasbourg, France.

he Council of Europe, Strasbourg. Credit: Hans Peter Merten

The Council of Europe, Strasbourg. Credit: Hans Peter Merten

This will be the sixth special meeting in the Committee’s 10-year history. Special meetings, most of which have been conducted away from New York, give the Committee an opportunity to discuss various elements of the United Nations counter-terrorism framework with international, regional and subregional organizations. Representatives from more than 50 States and 40 organizations and entities will take part in the meeting in Strasbourg. The list also includes 7 experts drawn from civil society.

Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001), 1624 (2005) and 1963 (2010) call on Member States to take a number of steps to counter terrorism, progressively paying more attention to preventive measures and factors that lead to terrorist activities.

In 2006, the General Assembly expanded the legal framework with the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy which, among other things, requests Member States to address the factors conducive to terrorism. These might include unresolved conflicts, discrimination, violations of human rights and lack of good governance.

At the forthcoming special meeting, over 160 participants will discuss three topics related to prevention: policies, comprehensive and integrated strategies, and the role of law enforcement and the criminal justice system. They will also share best practices, codes and standards that can assist States in fighting terrorism and in reacting to emerging threats, such as the use of the Internet to spread violent messages.

“Just as the nature of terrorism is continuously evolving, so should our policies and strategies,” said Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations and Chair of the Committee. “Prevention is one important piece of the puzzle.”

Group discussions will focus on issues such as preventing radicalization and incitement, terrorist recruitment, and the role of public-private partnerships. Additional topics on the agenda include inter-agency coordination, international cooperation, criminalization and prosecution of offenders, and safeguards in criminal proceedings.

For Mr. Puri, terrorism is the “greatest threat today”, one that Mr. Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, says “remains acute.” Responding to such a challenge requires strong, joint action, and the United Nations plays a central role in the global fight against terrorism. “The United Nations and its partners are working tirelessly and in a concerted manner to counter this scourge”, said Mr. Puri.

Partners like the Council of Europe have policies and strategies in place that best serve their members, yet have universal application. The Council’s approach to fighting terrorism is based on three pillars, Mr. Jagland explains: “Strengthen the international legal framework, address the causes of terrorism and safeguard fundamental values.”

As the United Nations has stressed, respecting the rule of law and human rights is essential in successfully combating terrorism at the national, regional and international levels.

This page was last updated on: 15-Apr-2011 3:21 PM EST