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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to join my colleagues in welcoming Mr. Arlacchi to the Permanent Council. I believe it is especially worthwhile for us to hear what our colleagues at other international organizations are doing, as we are increasingly working side by side, especially outside of rooms like this and in the field.
In that respect, we feel it is especially important that we work together so that our activities complement one another.
We agree with Mr. Arlacchi's point that we all need to work harder to fight the growing problem of trafficking in human beings.
Last year at the Ministerial held here in Vienna, our Ministers welcomed the adoption by the General Assembly of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, which supplements the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. We agree that it is not enough simply to recognize this human rights problem and this criminal problem. We have to undertake serious efforts to combat it.
And, as we said last week, we need to ensure that our own personnel do not contribute to the problem.
In addition to working together on combating trafficking and other human rights abuses, we look forward to participating with UNODCCP in the Bishkek International Conference on Strengthening Comprehensive Efforts to Counter Terrorism. We expect this conference to result in concrete actions to assist all OSCE states in the international fight against terrorism.
The OSCE's Terrorism Working Group -- under the skillful leadership of my Danish colleague Ambassador Biering -- is developing an action plan for our ministers to adopt in December. We believe this plan should include a date certain by which all OSCE member states sign all twelve UN anti-terrorism conventions and protocols, and pledge to ratify and bring them into force as rapidly as possible.
Through the existing efforts of many of our OSCE field presences, we are actively addressing societal conditions that can make populations more vulnerable to manipulation by extremists. Moreover, significant parts of our ongoing fieldwork is in the area of law enforcement and rule of law.
We firmly believe that sound law enforcement, backed up by the rule of law and an ethical, well-trained judiciary, can serve as a front line against the precursors to terrorist activity. A well-trained, highly motivated city policeman who competently carries out his regular duties is an important deterrent against crime and a frontline defense against those who might use a lawless environment to plan terrorist acts.
We need to be careful, however, about asserting that there are absolute causes of terrorism. It cuts across all social, economic and geographic areas. We must cripple the ability of terrorists to operate, but not make false causal relationships or let ourselves believe that solving homelessness and poverty, for example, will in the process wipe out terrorism.
All countries that are members of the OSCE can do more in the fight against terrorism. None of our member states is immune to infiltration by terrorist groups and all of us are at risk in different ways. The United States - like all OSCE states -- is clearly a "frontline state" in the battle against this evil.
We look forward to working with the UNODCCP in the worldwide effort to confront terror. Thank you.
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