9 September 2004
OSCE-UNODC Conference Calls for Better Information Sharing on Border Management
VIENNA, 9 September (UN Information Service) -- Representatives from 16 international organizations attending a two-day conference on promoting more effective border management and security called for an increase in information sharing to address challenges of "open but safe borders".
The participants at the Technical Experts Conference, jointly organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) pointed out the need to further develop and fine-tune border management and security, especially in regions such as south-east Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.
They noted the need to define common standards and develop a strategic and coordinated approach to delivering international assistance as one of the priorities.
"Using the experience of the OSCE to focus on 'hot-spots', on the least advanced countries in terms of border management could be one of the first steps forward in this direction," said Ambassador Lamberto Zannier, Head of the OSCE's Conflict Prevention Centre.
"Improving field-level cooperation between various organizations is essential. We must also make sure we always keep our lines of communication open to share information on activities and help rule out duplication," he added.
Bernard Frahi, Chief of Partnership in Development Branch of the UNODC, said a well-managed border is a cornerstone of economic prosperity. "It is an essential instrument against the uncivil, the prohibited and the illegal that threaten communities and from which they rightly expect protection. This is why we are focusing on the current "Paris Pact initiative on border security, in strong cooperation with our partners.
Representing the OSCE Chairmanship, Bulgarian Vice Foreign Minister Ivan Petkov said we should avoid drawing new dividing lines and creating conditions that prohibit legitimate trade, travel and movement.
"On the other hand," he added, "we must not let our desire for openness act as an invitation to those who seek to exploit such freedoms to traffic human beings, weapons and drugs or pose a threat to our security."
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