UN OFFICIAL STRESSES IMPORTANCE OF REGIONAL COOPERATION IN COMBATING TERRORISM
14 February - The head of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has underlined the need to strengthen regional and inter-regional law enforcement cooperation in the global fight against terrorism, stressing that all States have a common interest in preventing the menace.
Addressing an inter-regional meeting of countries in the Persian Gulf and neighbouring regions in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, yesterday, Yury Fedotov, the UNODC Executive Director, encouraged the sharing of knowledge, experience and best practices on terrorism prevention.
“All of your countries share the common goals of stopping the spread of terrorism and preventing terrorist attacks, so it is in the common interest that you work together and help each other,” said Mr. Fedotov.
Acts of terrorism in the region are facilitated by proceeds from the smuggling of opium westward from Afghanistan, organized crime and corruption, all of which are best addressed through a comprehensive approach based on cooperation, Mr. Fedotov said.
He said UNODC is keen on promoting inter-regional cooperation between North Africa and the Middle East, the Gulf region and South-West Asia. The Office recently launched a programme in Yemen to address security issues such as drug trafficking, criminal networks and terrorism and its source of financing.
Mr. Fedotov commended Prince Naïf Ahmad Bin Abdul-Aziz, Saudi Arabia's Deputy Minister of Interior and head of the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, for encouraging a regional approach to combating terrorism. The university is UNODC's partner in building criminal justice capacity throughout the Gulf region.
During the two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Fedotov also met with the head of the national Anti-Terrorism Committee, Fahed Al Maghloth, and praised the Kingdom for ratifying 12 of the 16 international conventions and protocols pertaining to terrorism.