Workshop promotes regional counter-terrorism cooperation in South Asia
Countering terrorism effectively was the subject of the Fifth Workshop for Police Officers, Prosecutors and Judges in South Asia, held in New Delhi from 20 to 22 March 2012.
The regional workshop was hosted by the Government of India, in association with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED). The event was organized by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation (in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation) and funded by the Governments of India and Denmark.
During the three-day event, experts from India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka shared their views and experiences in cooperating at the national and international levels to bring terrorists to justice. Other participants included experts from relevant Member States and as representatives from United Nations agencies and international organizations.
Around the world, significant successes have been achieved in combating terrorism over the past decade. States have criminalized terrorist offences, strengthened their criminal justice systems, prosecuted terrorist cases, introduced measures to counter terrorist financing, and enhanced cooperation. The number of States parties to the international counter-terrorism instruments has also increased significantly.
“South Asian States have made considerable progress in their domestic counter-terrorism efforts, but it is essential to continue to develop and strengthen mechanisms to support regional law enforcement officials,” said Mike Smith, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of CTED.
“When it comes to terrorism, a grave threat to international peace and security, there is no room for complacency”, he added.
CTED was created by the Security Council in 2004 to assist the Counter-Terrorism Committee in its work to monitor the implementation of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001). The Committee is currently chaired by H.E. Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations.
Asoke Mukerji, Additional Secretary in India’s Ministry of External Affairs, spoke of the significant challenges the region faces. "There are serious questions about the capacity of state structures and their ability to deal with terrorism and extremism. It is important that where States have the institutions and capacities, they must clamp down on terrorism," he said.
Continuing with the series of workshops in South Asia, the sixth meeting will be hosted by Pakistan before the end of the year.