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UNIS/INF/393
9 December 2010

MEDIA ADVISORY

Expert meeting on implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia to be held in Slovakia

First meeting of the project "Implementing the
United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia"
to be held in Bratislava, Slovakia on 15-16 December 2010

VIENNA, 9 December (UN Information Service) - The first in a series of counter-terrorism expert meetings at regional level is being held in Bratislava, Slovakia on 15 & 16 December, under the auspices of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting in Bratislava is part of a joint initiative of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task-Force (CTITF) and the European Union working with the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) to assist Central Asian countries to strengthen their efforts to fight terrorism. The sponsors of the project are the European Commission and Norway.

For the first time experts from the Central Asian region and beyond will come together to focus on two aspects of the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The meeting in Bratislava will examine ways to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism (Pillar 1) and to ensure respect for human rights for all in the fight against terrorism (Pillar 4).

Further expert meetings will be held in the region next year looking at the other two pillars of the strategy. The meetings will lead to the drawing up of a joint action plan implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia, which is expected to be adopted during a regional ministerial conference to be held in 2011.

The Central Asia initiative, which was launched in September in New York, shows how Member States are working together to implement the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the General Assembly four years ago and demonstrates a shared commitment from Central Asian countries, regional organizations, the UN system and the European Union (EU) towards enhanced coordination to effectively fight terrorism.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Miroslav Jenča said anti-terrorism efforts are high on the agenda of decision-makers in the region in light of the multi-faceted nature of the threat: "There is a danger of intensifying activities of various extremist, terrorist, and criminal groups and networks operating in Central Asia, fuelled by instability in the wider region and porous borders. Prevention of terrorism in Central Asia is central not only to protecting the well-being of populations and ensuring national and regional stability. It is also part of a more global approach to security which recognizes linkages between terrorism, criminality, money laundering, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and lawlessness. The expert discussions which start on 15 December will seek to lay the groundwork for increased coordination of efforts and international partnership to address a common evil."

The Chair of the CTITF Jean-Paul Laborde hopes the Central Asia initiative will lead the way for other regions to follow: "Adoption of the United Nations' global counter-terrorism strategy four years ago by all 192 countries was indeed a major and unique breakthrough but now our focus is very much on the practical value of the strategy. We need to concentrate our efforts on implementation. In this regard the initiative that we are embarking on starting with the meeting in Bratislava with the Central Asian countries is especially crucial because it aims exactly at that: to come up with a doable, practical action plan to implement the strategy. It is also a unique step as this is the first time we are really doing this with a regional perspective and therefore, we are also looking at this initiative to set the example for similar future work within other regions."

Speakers at the opening session include State Secretary of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs Milan Ježovica, the SRSG and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) Miroslav Jenča, the Chair of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) Jean-Paul Laborde and a representative from the European Union. Meeting participants include representatives from Central Asian states, UN agencies, regional organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure of the SCO, representatives from neighbouring countries, other international partners, civil society, regional and international experts.

Among the issues to be discussed are conflict prevention and mediation, trans-border security threats including terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime; addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism though social development and social inclusion, poverty reduction and achieving the Millennium Development Goals; inter-ethnic and inter-religious tolerance and dialogue; and ensuring respect for human rights for all and the rule of law including good governance.

Media representatives are invited to attend the following:

Opening Session of the first expert meeting addressing Pillars 1 and 4 of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

Venue: Hotel Falkensteiner, Pilarikova ulica 5, Bratislava

Time: 9 a.m. - 9.30 a.m. Wednesday 15 December 2010

NB: There will be an opportunity for filming/photographs at the opening.

Accreditation: Pre-registration is required to attend the meeting. Media representatives who wish to attend should register by 12 noon on Tuesday 14 December by writing to press@unvienna.org

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For further information, contact:

Marc Bojanic
Human Rights Officer, UNRCCA - Ashgabat
Telephone: (+993-12) 481612
Email: bojanicm@un.org
Website: www.unrcca.unmissions.org

or

Anne Thomas
Information Officer
United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS)
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5588
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5588
Email: anne.thomas@unvienna.org