07 October 2003
OAS Calls for Coordinated Global Approach to Combat Terrorism
Salvadoran official says anti-terror efforts must
have popular support
Addressing an anti-terrorism meeting at the Organization of American
States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, El Salvador's Foreign
Affairs Minister Maria Eugenia Brizuela has called for a coordinated
global approach to combating international terrorism, according
to an OAS press release.
Chairing the meeting's opening session on October 7, Brizuela
told international counter-terrorism experts that OAS and United
Nations anti-terrorism resolutions must have strong popular support
if they are to succeed. The meeting, attended by participants from
around the world, was organized by the OAS Inter-American Committee
Against Terrorism (CICTE).
During the day-long session, officials and experts discussed how
regional organizations can disseminate information and best practices
among member states and the role of these organizations in building
the counter-terrorism capacity of these member states, the press
Following is the text of the press release, with further details:
ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 7, 2003
Global Anti-Terrorism Meeting at OAS
Renews Call for Coordinated Action
Inaugurating an anti-terrorism meeting at Organization of American
States (OAS) headquarters today, El Salvador's Foreign Affairs
Minister Marķa Eugenia Brizuela de Avila renewed the call for a
coordinated, world-wide approach to combating international terrorism.
She told senior international counter-terrorism experts that existing
OAS and United Nations anti-terrorism resolutions, inadequate by
themselves, must have strong support from citizens if they are
"These instruments establish the legal parameters for all regions
and governments to collaborate to devise effective strategies and
implement policies to dismantle networks that provide financial
and logistical support to terrorists, while preserving the rights
of our peoples," she asserted, chairing the opening session of
the meeting organized by the OAS Inter-American Committee Against
Terrorism (CICTE). "We must strengthen our common defenses against
those who could abuse our democratic values to impose their views
The Salvadoran Minister noted the extremely high price the hemisphere
has paid in fighting terrorism, but expressed the collective determination "not
to ever allow a repeat of the scourge," saying regional organizations
such as the OAS have a vital role as catalysts and intermediaries,
working in conjunction with the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Committee
(CTC) to meet specific needs of member states.
Minister Brizuela de Avila also paid special tribute to the late
Brazilian international civil servant Sergio Vieira de Mello and
others killed during an attack on the U.N. offices in Baghdad,
Iraq, in late August.
Meanwhile, OAS Assistant Secretary General Luigi Einaudi described
CICTE as "a functioning reality," and hailed the Inter-American
Convention against Terrorism as "the product of our collective
determination not to allow terrorists and their supporters to threaten
our societies or our democracies." He pointed to important OAS
accomplishments in the fight against terrorism, notably since the
September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, including
active programs in 11 states, observer status with the Financial
Action Task Force of the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD), working relationships and information exchanges
with many international organizations, and a communications network
linking national points of contact in member states.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Committee,
Spain's Ambassador to the U.N. Inocencio Arias, observed that a
number of states, while demonstrating the political will to fight
terrorism, "lack the proper instruments to do so." He cited international
codes, best practices and model legislation as keys to success.
Arias also commended the OAS and CICTE initiative in hosting the
meeting. "Both have become a model for how to assume responsibilities
in the fight against terrorism," he added.
During their day-long meeting, the officials and experts are discussing
topics as how regional organizations distribute information and
best practices among member states; best practices and self-assessment;
the role of regional organizations in building counter-terrorism
capacity of member states; and implementing the program.
CICTE Executive Secretary Steven Monblatt participated on a panel
discussing the distribution of information and best practices,
along with Ambassador Jan Kubis, Secretary General of the Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe, among others.
The European Commission, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the
U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, the African Union's Permanent Mission
to the U.N., the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and
the Commonwealth Secretariat were among those represented.