On 19 September, 2006 the General Assembly formally launched the United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urging the ministerial-level gathering to “seize this moment”.

On September 19, 2006 the General Assembly formally launched the United Nations global counter-terrorism strategy with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan urging the ministerial-level gathering to “seize this moment”.

“If future generations are to live in a world free from terrorism and its inhumane tactics, Member States must embark without delay on the journey they have mapped out so carefully; they must start translating their commitments into reality at once”, he said, in a statement delivered on his behalf by Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown at the special event. Full text of the speech is available here.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted a global counter-terrorism strategy on 8 September 2006. The strategy – in the form of a Resolution and an annexed Plan of Action – is a unique instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism.

This is the first time that all Member States have agreed to a common strategic approach to fight terrorism, not only sending a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable in all its forms and manifestation but also resolving to take practical steps individually and collectively to prevent and combat it. Those practical steps include a wide array of measures ranging from strengthening state capacity to counter terrorist threats to better coordinating United Nations system’s counter-terrorism activities. Some of the important new initiatives set forth in the strategy are as following:

  • Improving the coherence and efficiency of counter-terrorism technical assistance delivery so that all states can play their part effectively.
  • Voluntarily putting in place systems of assistance that would address the needs of victims of terrorism and their families.
  • Addressing the threat of bioterrorism by establishing a single comprehensive database on biological incidents, focusing on improving States’ public health systems, and acknowledging the need to bring together major stakeholders to ensure that biotechnology’s advances are not used for terrorist or other criminal purposes but for the public good.
  • Involving civil society, regional and sub-regional organizations in the fight against terrorism and developing partnerships with the private sector to prevent terrorist attacks on particularly vulnerable targets.
  • Exploring innovative means to address the growing threat of terrorist use of the internet.
  • Modernizing border and customs controls systems, and improving the security of travel documents, to prevent terrorist travel and the movement of illicit materials.
  • Enhancing cooperation to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The strategy clearly affirms that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.

The adoption of the strategy fulfils the commitment made by world leaders at the 2005 September Summit and builds on many of the elements proposed by the Secretary-General in his 2 May 2006 report, entitled Uniting against Terrorism: Recommendations for a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Indeed, General Assembly President Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa of Bahrain said that the launch of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Strategy marked an important step forward in the fight against terrorism.

For further information, please visit http://www.un.org/terrorism/strategy/ or contact, Ms. Veronika Vashchenko, Communication Officer at e-mail: veronika.vashchenko@undp.org, tel: (+38 044) 254-0035.