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Sophia, 27th June 2002

Speech by H.E. Paulo Tiago da Silva Ambassador of Portugal in Sophia

(Opening Remarks)

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour for me to be here today and address you on behalf of the OSCE Chairman in Office.

Terrorism has long since been a major internal and international security concern. The terrorist attacks in the United States last September demonstrated once again the appalling nature and devastating consequences of terrorist activities and actions. No cause in the world can justify the resort to terrorist actions.

Due to its intricate nature and global dimension, combating terrorism cannot be undertaken successfully at the level of a single state or organisation. The complex and global nature of terrorism demands a co-ordinated response and approach among all nations and organisations.

In accordance with the Platform for Co-operative Security, adopted at the 1999 Istanbul Summit, the OSCE believes that co-operation with other organisations and institutions must be an essential part in the planning and undertaking of the Organisation's activities in preventing and combating international terrorism.

(OSCE initiatives)

As others dud in reaction to September 11, the OSCE also saw the need to update its instruments and commitments in the fight against terrorism. To this end, the OSCE adopted the Bucharest Plan of Action. In Bishkek, a central Asia-oriented Programme of Action was endorsed as a response to specific sub-regional problems.

Both the Plan and the Programme specify a variety of anti-terrorist measures to be adopted by participating States and by the organisation as a whole. A Senior Police Advisor has been appointed and an Action Against Terrorism Unit has been set up in the Secretariat.

(Chairmanship Initiatives)

On the part of the Portuguese Chairmanship, the fight against Terrorism was soon identified as a key priority of its tenure. In line with this priority, the Chairmanship appointed a Personal Representative for Preventing and Combating Terrorism, Mr. Jan Troejborg, who unfortunately could not be present today. Mr. Troejborg has been working together with the OSCE Secretariat in driving forward the implementation of the Bucharest Plan of Action and of the Bishkek Programme of Action.

Essentially, we have agreed to concentrate OSCE programmes on The following areas: border control, policing, anti-trafficking (drugs, small arms) and combating organised crime.

Acknowledging that the actions and initiatives of the OSCE in the fight against terrorism will only produce sustainable results if developed within a larger and over-arching framework, the Portuguese Chairmanship firmly believes that co-ordination, co-operation and the development of greater synergies amongst the various organisations and institutions is essential if we are to make preventing and combating terrorism a success.

In this light, the Chairmanship organised a High Level Meeting in Lisbon on the Prevention and Combat of Terrorism which took place on the 12th June. This meeting was organised in the spirit of the Platform for Cooperative Security and in recognition of the leading role of the United Nations.

The main objective of the discussions was that of enhancing and improving co-ordination and information-sharing in the fight against terrorism, highlighting the need to make the best possible use of comparative advantages.

There was agreement on the need for appropriate follow-up to the meeting. Portugal has offered to host a second meeting in the same format next year. On the 6th September, the OSCE Secretary General will be chairing a meeting dedicated to sub-regional co-operation in the prevention and combat of terrorism.

The Chairmanship has also started to work on the proposal for a Charter for Preventing and Combating Terrorism to be adopted at our Ministerial meeting in December. This Charter is intended to be a political document that reaffirms the OSCE support and contribution to the United Nations' led international efforts against terrorism, underlining the OSCE principles and objectives in the prevention and combat of terrorism. The Charter will build upon the work of the OSCE under the Bucharest Plan of Action and the Bishkek Programme of Action.

(Closing remarks)

We are all fully committed to combating terrorism. Immediate actions and results are vital, however their success and sustainability will require a long term and integrated strategy. Therefore, preventive measures must be a key aspect of any anti-terrorism policy and strategy, and me consolidation of democracy a starting point.

We believe that the OSCE has a valuable contribution to make. Based on its comprehensive approach to security and on its broad membership the OSCE can play an important role through its three articulated dimensions, its institutions and field missions.

Thank you


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