18 June 2004
Terrorism Strikes at Very Heart of All UN Stands for, Says Secretary-General in Message to Tashkent Ceremony
NEW YORK, 17 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annans message to the official ceremony marking the commencement of work of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure Executive Committee of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, delivered by Vladimir Goryayev, Deputy Director a.i. for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Department of Political Affairs, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, 17 June:
I am delighted to convey warm greetings to the Presidents of the six Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as to your Organizations Secretary-General, at this ceremony marking the commencement of work of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure Executive Committee of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
You meet after a decade marked by profound geopolitical changes in Europe and Asia, which have provided countries of the region with a unique opportunity to strengthen cooperation in the political, security, economic and environmental spheres. In this context, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has evolved into an increasingly important regional security organization. The six SCO Member States have accumulated valuable experience in dialogue and cooperation, developed mutual understanding, and strengthened the sense of collective responsibility for a common future in the region.
Over this decade, some SCO Member States have achieved great economic success and prosperity, while others are working hard to find ways to realize their potential. For all of you, the threats of terrorism and instability represent a potential threat to development, prosperity and the advancement of universal values. Terrorist acts committed in Tashkent by extremists two months ago are a grim reminder of the danger.
Terrorism strikes at the very heart of everything the United Nations stands for. It is a global threat to democracy, the rule of law, human rights and stability, and therefore requires a global response. The United Nations has an indispensable role to play in providing the legal framework within which the international campaign against terrorism can unfold. To assist Member States in enhancing their capability to fight terrorism, the United Nations Security Council has established the Counter-Terrorism Committee, provided for in resolution 1373. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has launched a global programme against terrorism as a framework for operational activities. I am confident that the commencement of work of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure Executive Committee of the SCO will help to substantively strengthen those efforts.
The United Nations looks forward to working with you. As we join forces against terrorism, it is imperative that all of us work to uphold and protect the dignity of individuals and their fundamental freedoms, as well as democratic practices and the rule of law. In that spirit, I wish you a most successful inauguration, and an auspicious beginning in your work.
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