September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
OSCE Statement on Terrorism, Action Plan to Combat Terrorism; December 4, 2001

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Ministerial Council Bucharest 4 December 2001

Decision No. 1 -- Combating Terrorism

The 55 participating States of the OSCE stand united against terrorism, a scourge of our times.

The OSCE participating States resolutely condemn the barbaric acts of terrorism that were committed against the United States on 11 September 2001. They represented an attack on the whole of the international community, and on people of every faith and culture. These heinous deeds, as well as other terrorist acts in all forms and manifestations, committed no matter when, where or by whom, are a threat to international and regional peace, security and stability. There must be no safe haven for those perpetrating, financing, harbouring or otherwise supporting those responsible for such criminal acts. Terrorism, whatever its motivation or origin, has no justification.

The OSCE participating States will not yield to terrorist threats, but will combat them by all means in accordance with their international commitments. This will require a long and sustained effort, but they take strength from their broad coalition, reaching from Vancouver to Vladivostok. They will defend freedom and protect their citizens against acts of terrorism, fully respecting international law and human rights. They firmly reject identification of terrorism with any nationality or religion and reconfirm the norms, principles and values of the OSCE.

The OSCE participating States pledge to reinforce and develop bilateral and multilateral co-operation within the OSCE, with the United Nations and with other international and regional organizations, in order to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomever committed. As a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations, the OSCE is determined to contribute to the fulfillment of international obligations as enshrined, inter alia, in United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), and will act in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The OSCE participating States pledge to become parties to all 12 United Nations conventions and protocols related to terrorism as soon as possible. They call for a speedy finalization of negotiations for a Comprehensive United Nations Convention on International Terrorism.

The OSCE participating States have come together in political solidarity to take joint action. They look forward to the substantive contribution that the Bishkek International Conference on Enhancing Security and Stability in Central Asia, to be held on 13 and 14 December 2001, can render to global anti-terrorism efforts, and will support, also through technical assistance, the Central Asian partners, on their request, in countering external threats related to terrorism.

To that end, the OSCE Ministerial Council adopts The Bucharest Plan of Action for Combating Terrorism, annexed to this Decision.

The Bucharest Plan Of Action For Combating Terrorism 4 December 2001 Annex

I. Goal of the Action Plan

Terrorism is a threat to international peace and security, in the OSCE area as elsewhere. The OSCE stands ready to make its contribution to the fight against terrorism in close co-operation with other organizations and fora. This contribution will be consistent with the Platform for Co-operative Security and will benefit from interaction between global and regional anti-terrorism efforts under the aegis of the United Nations. The OSCE participating States commit their political will, resources and practical means to the implementation of their obligations under existing international terrorism conventions and pledge themselves to intensify national, bilateral and multilateral efforts to combat terrorism.

In contribution to the world-wide efforts to combat terrorism, the OSCE will seek to add value on the basis of the specifics of the Organization, its strengths and comparative advantages: its comprehensive security concept linking the politico-military, human and economic dimensions; its broad membership; its experience in the field; and its expertise in early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, post-conflict rehabilitation and building democratic institutions. In addition, many effective counter-terrorism measures fall into areas in which the OSCE is already active and proficient, such as police training and monitoring, legislative and judicial reform, and border monitoring.

The aim of the Action Plan is to establish a framework for comprehensive OSCE action to be taken by participating States and the Organization as a whole to combat terrorism, fully respecting international law, including the international law of human rights and other relevant norms of international law. The Action Plan seeks to expand existing activities that contribute to combating terrorism, facilitate interaction between States and, where appropriate, identify new instruments for action. The Action Plan, which recognizes that the fight against terrorism requires sustained efforts, will identify activities to be implemented immediately as well as over the medium and long term.

II. International legal obligations and political commitments

United Nations conventions and United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR) constitute the global legal framework for the fight against terrorism. UNSCR 1269 (1999), 1368, 1373 and 1377 (2001), along with the 12 relevant United Nations conventions and protocols on anti-terrorism issues, provide the basis for this framework and include a number of specific elements of combating terrorism. In addition, a range of OSCE documents, including Summit declarations from Helsinki to Istanbul, spell out the OSCE's commitment to fight terrorism, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The widest and most comprehensive participation in and implementation of existing instruments and commitments to combat terrorism by the participating States must be pursued and ensured.

Participating States: Pledge themselves to apply efforts to become parties to all 12 United Nations conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, by 31 December, 2002, if possible, recognizing the important role that parliamentarians may play in ratification and other antiterrorism legislative processes. States are encouraged to inform the Permanent Council of steps taken in this regard. Will participate constructively in the ongoing negotiations at the United Nations on a Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism and an International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, with a view to their early and successful conclusion.

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR): Will, on formal request by interested participating States and where appropriate, offer technical assistance/advice on legislative drafting necessary for the ratification of international instruments, in close co-operation with other organizations, including the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UNODCCP).

Participating States: Will consider how the OSCE may draw upon best practices and lessons learned from other relevant groups, organizations, institutions and fora in areas such as police and judicial cooperation; prevention and suppression of the financing of terrorism; denial of other means of support; border controls including visa and document security; and access by law enforcement authorities to information.

The participating States will also use the Forum for Security Co-operation (FSC) to strengthen their efforts in combating terrorism through full and timely implementation of all relevant measures agreed by the OSCE. To this end they will enhance implementation of existing politico-military commitments and agreements, in particular the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security and the Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW).

The FSC will examine the relevance of its other documents to the fight against terrorism, and will assess whether there is a need to develop additional norms and measures. The Security Dialogue may serve as a suitable basis for regular consultations on these issues within the FSC.

The participating States will submit responses to the Code of Conduct Questionnaire that provide further transparency on international, regional and national commitments in combating terrorism, especially relevant United Nation conventions and resolutions. The FSC will consider ways to fully implement the Document on SALW, inter alia Section V on early warning, conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation. The FSC will examine the possibility of enhancing transparency on national marking systems, exports and imports, and national stockpile management and security procedures, primarily by reviewing the information thus exchanged and developing best practice guides. The follow-up conference on the Code of Conduct and the SALW workshop, both of which will take place in 2002, could further enhance the application of these documents in combating terrorism.

III. Preventive action against terrorism in the OSCE area

No circumstance or cause can justify acts of terrorism. At the same time, there are various social, economic, political and other factors, including violent separatism and extremism, which engender conditions in which terrorist organizations are able to recruit and win support. The OSCE's comprehensive approach to security provides comparative advantages in combating terrorism by identifying and addressing these factors through all relevant OSCE instruments and structures.

Institution building, strengthening the rule of law and state authorities: ODIHR: Will continue and increase efforts to promote and assist in building democratic institutions at the request of States, inter alia by helping to strengthen administrative capacity, local and central government and parliamentary structures, the judiciary, ombudsman institutions and civil society. Will facilitate exchanges of best practices and experience between participating States in this regard. Will continue to develop projects to solidify democratic institutions, civil society and good governance.

Promoting human rights, tolerance and multi-culturalism: Participating States/Permanent Council/ODIHR/High Commissioner on National Minorities (HCNM)/Representative on Freedom of the Media: Will promote and enhance tolerance, co-existence and harmonious relations between ethnic, religious, linguistic and other groups as well as constructive co-operation among participating States in this regard. Will provide early warning of and appropriate responses to violence, intolerance, extremism and discrimination against these groups and, at the same time, promote their respect for the rule of law, democratic values and individual freedoms. Will work to ensure that persons belonging to national minorities have the right freely to express, preserve and develop their ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity.

Representative on Freedom of the Media: Will consider developing projects aimed at supporting tolerance towards people of other convictions and beliefs through the use of the media. Will promote measures aimed at preventing and fighting aggressive nationalism, racism, chauvinism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism in the media. Will continue to encourage pluralistic debate and increased media attention to promoting tolerance of ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural diversity and will, in this context, promote broad public access to media as well as monitor hate speech.

Addressing negative socio-economic factors: Participating States/Secretariat: Will aim to identify economic and environmental issues that undermine security, such as poor governance; corruption; illegal economic activity; high unemployment; widespread poverty and large disparities; demographic factors; and unsustainable use of natural resources; and will seek to counter such factors with the assistance, on their request, of the Office of the Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities (OCEEA), acting, among other things, as a catalyst for action and co-operation.

Preventing violent conflict and promoting peaceful settlement of disputes: Drawing on all its capacities, the OSCE will continue and intensify work aimed at early warning and appropriate response, conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation; will strengthen its ability to settle conflicts; will increase efforts to find lasting solutions to unresolved conflicts, including through promotion of the rule of law and crime prevention in such conflict zones through increased co-operation with the United Nations, the European Union and other international organizations; and will further develop its rapid deployment capability (REACT) in crisis situations.

Addressing the issue of protracted displacement: Participating States/ODIHR/HCNM/Representative on Freedom of the Media: Will explore strengthened OSCE potential for contributing to durable solutions, supporting and closely co-operating with other relevant organizations, primarily the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Will closely monitor situations of protracted displacement.

Strengthening national anti-terrorism legislation: Participating States: Will commit themselves to implementing all the obligations they have assumed under relevant conventions and protocols relating to terrorism as well as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its additional protocols, sharing information and methods in this regard and considering ways and means of co-operation in implementation at bilateral, OSCE-wide and sub-regional meetings.

OSCE Parliamentary Assembly: Will continue its efforts to promote dialogue among OSCE parliamentarians with a view to strengthening legislation essential in combating terrorism.

ODIHR: Will, on request by interested participating States and where appropriate, offer technical assistance/advice on the implementation of international anti-terrorism conventions and protocols as well as on the compliance of this legislation with international standards, in accordance with Permanent Council decisions, and will seek co-operation with other organizations, especially the UNODCCP, to this end. Will consider facilitating contacts between national experts to promote exchange of information and best practices on counter terrorism legislation.

Supporting law enforcement and fighting organized crime: Participating States: Noting the close connection between terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking in drugs, money laundering and illicit arms trafficking, will take the necessary steps to prevent in their territory illegal activities of persons, groups or organizations that instigate, finance, organize, facilitate or engage in perpetration of acts of terrorism or other illegal activities directed at the violent overthrow of the political regime of another participating State. Will afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in providing information in connection with criminal investigations or criminal extradition proceedings relating to terrorist acts, in accordance with their domestic law and international obligations.

Permanent Council: Will consider arranging regular meetings of law enforcement officials of participating States and, where applicable, of OSCE experts with relevant experience in the field to exchange best practices and ways of improving co-operation.

Secretariat: Will assist participating States, on their request, through measures to combat trafficking in human beings, drugs and small arms and light weapons, in accordance with relevant Permanent Council decisions, and will undertake efforts to assist in facilitating increased border monitoring, where appropriate. Will further assist participating States, on the request and with their agreement, through provision of advice and assistance on restructuring and/or reconstruction of police services; monitoring and training of existing police services, including human rights training; and capacity building, including support for integrated or multi-ethnic police services. Will, to this end, reinforce its existing police-related activities in conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation.

ODIHR: Will provide continued advice to participating States, at their request, on strengthening domestic legal frameworks and institutions that uphold the rule of law, such as law enforcement agencies, the judiciary and the prosecuting authorities, bar associations and defence attorneys. Will expand its efforts to combat trafficking in human beings and to support victims of trafficking. Will, where appropriate, support prison reform and improvements in criminal procedure.

Representative on Freedom of the Media: Will co-operate in supporting, on request, the drafting of legislation on the prevention of the abuse of information technology for terrorist purposes, ensuring that such laws are consistent with commitments regarding freedom of expression and the free flow of information.

Suppressing the financing of terrorism. Participating States: Will, within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism and UNSCR 1373 (2001), take action to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for terrorist purposes, and freeze terrorist assets also bearing in mind UNSCR 1267 (1999). Will, in accordance with their domestic legislation and obligations under international law, provide early response to requests for information by another participating State and relevant international organizations.

Participating States/Secretariat: Will, in the realm of the Economic and Environmental activities for 2002, also consider ways of combating economic factors which may facilitate the emergence of terrorism, economic consequences of terrorism as well as financial support for terrorists. Will consider how the OSCE may contribute, within the framework of its work on transparency and the fight against corruption, to the wider international effort to combat terrorism. Will consider taking on a catalytic role in providing targeted projects for the training of the personnel of domestic financial institutions in counter terrorism areas, inter alia on monitoring of financial flows and on prevention of money laundering. Participating States will participate constructively in the forthcoming negotiations at the United Nations on a global instrument against corruption, with a view to their early and successful conclusion.

Preventing movement of terrorists: Participating States: Will prevent the movement of terrorist individuals or groups through effective border controls and controls on issuance of identity papers and travel documents, as well as through measures for ensuring the security of identity papers and travel documents and preventing their counterfeiting, forgery and fraudulent use. Will apply such control measures fully respecting their obligations under international refugee and human rights law. Will, through the proper application of the exclusion clauses contained in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, ensure that asylum is not granted to persons who have participated in terrorist acts. Will provide for the timely detention and prosecution or extradition of persons charged with terrorist acts, in accordance with their obligations under international and national law.

IV. Action under the Platform for Co-operative Security -- Co-operation with other organizations

27. The United Nations is the framework for the global fight against terrorism. Close co-operation and co-ordination between all relevant actors must be secured. The OSCE can take on a co-ordinating role for inter- and intra-regional initiatives. The OSCE reaches out through close contacts to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), civil society and parliamentarians, creating an ever-closer network for the international coalition against terrorism.

28. Participating States/Secretariat: Will strengthen co-operation and information exchanges, both formally and informally, with other relevant groups, organizations, and institutions involved in combating terrorism. Will strengthen co-operation with the European Union on analysis and early warning and reinforce synergy with the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe and the Central European Initiative in areas relevant to combating terrorism. Will promote dialogue within the OSCE area on issues relating to new threats and challenges. Will broaden dialogue with partners outside the OSCE area, such as the Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation and Partners for Co-operation in Asia, the Shanghai Co-operation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Arab League, the African Union, and those States bordering on the OSCE area to exchange best practices and lessons learned in counter-terrorism efforts for application within the OSCE area.

V. Follow-up

29. The "Bishkek International Conference on Enhancing Security and Stability in Central Asia: Strengthening Comprehensive Efforts to Counter Terrorism", to be held on 13 and 14 December 2001 in Bishkek, will be a first opportunity to:

-- discuss among a broad range of participants, on the basis of the present Action Plan, concrete experiences and best practices in combating international terrorism and

-- due to the specific security challenges to which this region is exposed, apply relevant provisions of this Action Plan for practical support to participating States in Central Asia, including financial and technical assistance in concrete areas of their interest.

30. The Secretary General will, by 27 December 2001, report to the United Nations Counter Terrorism Committee on action on combating terrorism taken by the OSCE, and will thereafter inform the United Nations as appropriate. In addition, he will regularly inform the Permanent Council about OSCE activities under this Plan of Action. He will prepare a report for submission to the next OSCE Ministerial Council/Summit on activities of OSCE bodies in the anti-terrorism field, and thereafter as requested by the Permanent Council.

31. Each OSCE body called upon to take action under this Plan will prepare, for submission to the Permanent Council, a "road map" for implementation of these tasks, including a timetable, resource implications, and indication of activities requiring further Permanent Council decisions.

On the basis of information provided by other OSCE bodies, the Secretariat will prepare an indicative assessment of the administrative and financial implications of this Plan of Action, including the possible need for establishing an anti-terrorism unit or focal point within the Secretariat, and make recommendations for the approval by the Permanent Council of necessary resources within the 2002 budget. The Permanent Council, acting, inter alia, through the Chairman-in-Office and assisted by the Secretariat, will monitor the implementation of this Action Plan. It will further identify sources for assistance in implementing counter-terrorism measures, including expert teams, and possible additional tasking by the Permanent Council of OSCE field presences in close co-operation and agreement with host governments.

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