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BISHKEK, 14 December 2001 - The Bishkek International Conference, organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UN ODCCP), concluded today with the adoption of a Declaration and a Programme of Action. The aim of this Programme is to develop concrete steps to be undertaken by the participating States and organizations to effectively prevent and counter terrorism.
"The recent tragic events in the USA [and the] situation in Afghanistan once again focus the attention of all member States to the necessity of closer interaction, with the aim of trying to understand the scope of the problem", said Kyrgyz Foreign Minister, Muratbek Imanaliev. "Recognizing the authority and significance of the United Nations in settling conflicts..., our country considers that influential sub-regional organizations such as the OSCE and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) can make their essential contributions in deepening mutual understanding between States, maintaining security and stability".
"This conference has taken the first step to follow-up the OSCE Bucharest Action Plan for combating terrorism by drawing up the Programme of Action which this Conference has adopted. It is time now to put these new programmes into operation", said Mircea Geoana, the OSCE Chairman-in-Office and Romanian Foreign Minister.
"Terrorism, organized crime and illicit drugs are closely related", said Pino Arlacchi, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN ODCCP. "It is the convergence of networks ... that calls for an integrated approach in combating them. The first line of defence is prevention.... Now, we need to move to the next stage, which is concrete action".
In the Bishkek Conference Declaration, the participants confirm that the struggle against terrorism requires joint and comprehensive efforts of the international community, in full conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and OSCE commitments. They also express their determination to combat terrorism while fully respecting human rights and the rule of law. In the Declaration, the participants underline their commitment to address at the earliest possible moment political conflicts and economic and social problems which are exploited and abused by terrorists and violent extremists to mobilize support for their destructive causes.
Based on the broad and comprehensive participation of States and international organizations in the Conference, a concrete Programme of Action was adopted, which identifies specific measures to combat and prevent terrorism, and pays particular attention to the challenges faced by the countries in Central Asia in this regard.
Regarding the specific needs of Central Asian countries, the participants agreed in their Programme of Action that special efforts should be made to strengthen the capacities of states in this region to control their borders, to encourage sustainable economic development, to strengthen the capacity of governmental institutions to combat terrorism, organized crime and illicit drugs, and to consider providing financial and technical assistance to the Central Asian states.
Among other measures, the Programme of Action calls for enhanced regional and international as well as interagency co-operation between anti-terrorist agencies and agencies fighting crimes such as illicit drug and arms trafficking. The Programme also urges for the adoption of national anti-money laundering legislation and the creation of structures that can prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, such as financial intelligence units.
Other proposed measures included the rapid ratification and implementation of relevant international instruments, including the 1999 UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, and to prevent the destabilizing accumulation and uncontrolled spread and illicit trafficking of small arms and light weapons.
The Bishkek International Conference Declaration and Programme of Action are available in full on the conference website: www.osce.org/bishkek_conference
U.S. Government Website