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Ambassador Vladimir Drobnjak
 

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, Excellencies,

The European Council in its Declaration from Seville reaffirmed that "Terrorism is a real challenge for Europe and the world". It is important to notice that this very first sentence - in lengthy and substantial Declaration that confirmed EU readiness to engage with all its resources in the fight against terrorism - does not speak on any particularly country or region. It speaks of Europe and the world, indicating the universality of the problem and no-exclusion towards assets and participants involved in this paramount task. Indeed, no county or the region can be excluded from the process, and this certainly applies for the region of SEE.

Stability Pact for SEE - especially through the work of the Third WT - represents valuable framework for addressing the issue of terrorism and the ways to fight it, from the point of SEE.

Immediately after terrorist attack on USA on 11 September, the countries of SEE within Stability Pact issued Declaration condemning those barbaric acts. A month later they adopted the Declaration on the contribution of the countries of the SEE to the international fight against terrorism. This Declaration presents a constructive regional response to the threat of terrorism. It reaffirmed the readiness of the countries concerned to work closely towards enhancing the level of cooperation both bilaterally and on the regional level.

The countries involved - Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Yugoslavia - agreed that a regional contribution to the international campaign against terrorism was an integral part of the stabilizing process of the region and decided to continue to focus on this issue and meet regularly within SP.

All WT III activities are related to the fight against international terrorism - to smaller or larger extent - but the activities of other two Working Tables also contribute in that regard (for example WT I with minorities and democratization). SC resolution 1373 has noted with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money laundering, illegal arms trafficking and all illegal movements. This list represents the WT III agenda as well.

Resolution 1373 emphasized the need to enhance coordination of efforts at national, sub-regional, regional and international level in order to strengthen a global response against terrorism. Stability Pact represents a framework for that, with the number of participants that range from USA and Canada, across Europe, all the way to Japan. The fact that SEE countries are on the receiving end on the SP activities in no way means that the benefits from the fight against terrorism arc limited just to this part of the world.

A closer looks at the Stability Pact WT III initiatives and task forces confirm that they represent considerable contribution to the fight against terrorism. In this regard let me emphasize in particular some of its initiatives and fields of activity: small arms and light weapons, trafficking in human beings, anticorruption, organized crime...


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today there is no international forum that is not involved - in one way or the other, too bigger or lesser extent - in combating international terrorism. UN, NATO, financial institutions, different regional organizations such as Council of Europe or OSCE, all are investing tremendous efforts in the fight against terrorism. Each one among these activities represents an added value in the comprehensive approach that is required for the final success.

Security is responsibility of all of us, and the contribution by each country to the fight against terrorism should begin on its own territory. The measures implemented at the national level are the starting point for the universal fight, and the only way to address this issue efficiently. However, each country's fight is specific. And no country could be excluded from the process.

At the national level accelerated process of adjustment of the legislature in respective countries remains crucial. Another important element is cooperation with the neighbors, especially on issues such as border guarding and fight against different illegal cross-border activities. Bilateral agreements on cooperation against terrorism - but also in regards to the fight against organized crime - are also valuable contribution to overall efforts in the fight against terrorism.

International cooperation should be strengthened through full implementation of the relevant legal instruments such as European Convention on Suppression of Terrorism, as well as through development of relevant legal standards and guidelines for the efficient fight against terrorism. Regionally, the work of organizations such as Council of Europe or OSCE remains indispensable. At the global stage, the UN conventions on terrorism remain of vital importance, as well as the activities in relation to the implementation of the SC R. 1373 and Counter Terrorism Committee.

Without adding to the proliferation of actions, Stability Pact stands ready to produce the added value in certain fields of action. Having that in mind, the idea was born to produce an overview of the initiatives already taken up in this field and accompany that with analysis as a guidance for the future - something that has been already done in security sector.

The comprehensive Security Sector Reform Gaps Analysis has been done by York University of Canada and represents an inventory of all ongoing and recently conducted projects in the countries of SE Europe in the security sector. The Analysis contains list of projects relating to military reform, non-proliferation, arms control and disarmament as well as the projects connected to border guards, police reform, customs judicial and penal system, and anti corruption and organized crime projects. It showed the lack of coordination among international players active in the SSR, about also within recipient countries in coordinating the assistance. It also highlighted the fields where additional support is needed, or more coordination necessary. But - this Analysis does not include counter terrorism measures.

The idea is to extend the Security Sector Reform inventory to include a more detailed examination of terrorism issues in the context of South Eastern Europe, and to extend this "evaluation" to providing gaps analysis and recommendations for policy-makers. In general it could be expected that there is a "gap" between the formulated goals and the practices or results of counter terrorism activities. Reliable information on this difference would give not only an overview in terms of a reality assessment, but could also serve as a point of departure to search for "reasons" to define ways to improve the situation. At the same time this evaluation would serve the practical needs of the region. The first contact has been established with the independent researcher (Max Planck Institute), and the endorsement from the region received in the WT III meeting held earlier this month in Bucharest.

Ladies and Gentleman,

WT III meeting in Bucharest, earlier this month has addressed also the issue of terrorism through the work of the Ad Hoc Working Group. The importance of cross-table consultations within the SP framework was raised, with the recognition that WT III would continue to lead on this issue. It was reemphasized WT III approach to the counter terrorism not as a separate area of activity but as an element of all WT activities. Last - but certainly not the least - it was concluded that the region could substantially contribute to European and global stability and provide assistance to SP participants from outside the region.

Acting nationally and regionally in the fight against terrorism - no matter how big or small, direct or collateral our activities are - we contribute globally. This is the main message we should have in mind.

 
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