|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General urges innovative private sector approaches to security
in message to global forum for anti-terrorism partnership
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the Global Forum for Anti-Terrorism Partnership between Government and Business, as delivered by Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in Moscow today, 28 November:
I send my greetings to all participants in the Global Forum for Anti-Terrorism Partnership between Government and Business. I commend this timely and important initiative of the Russian Federation, which brings together both public authorities and private enterprises in an effort to counter the global menace of terrorism.
Terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes, is unacceptable and can never be justified. It is a challenge that demands urgent, sustained and comprehensive attention from the international community. Towards that end, last September, UN Member States unanimously adopted the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In doing so, they committed themselves to addressing the conditions that are conducive to the spread of terrorism; preventing and combating this evil in all its forms; and strengthening the individual and collective capacity of States and the United Nations to wage this battle, all while ensuring the protection of human rights and the rule of law.
The Strategy encourages the United Nations to reach out to the private sector in this effort, in particular with respect to port, maritime and civil aviation security. Indeed, just as terrorism does not discriminate amongst its victims, neither does it distinguish between the public and private sectors. Businesses are frequently the direct targets of terrorist attacks. Moreover, terrorism not only affects business infrastructure, but also inflicts serious economic harm.
At the same time, the private sector is well positioned to develop innovative approaches to addressing a number of aspects of terrorism, in particular in the area of protecting vulnerable targets. I am also encouraged to know that the strategy you are about to adopt recognizes the important contribution of the United Nations and other international organizations. There is great potential for cooperation between us on a number of provisions contained in the strategy, for example those pertaining to the financial sector, the Internet, infrastructure, transportation and emergency response.
As you may know, almost two years ago I established the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force to ensure a coordinated and coherent response by the UN system. The Task Force offers an entry-point for business, and I very much hope you will seize that opportunity to deepen our partnerships in this vital endeavour. In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for a successful forum.
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