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Homeland Security

Security Council counter-terrorism meeting in Kazakhstan to shine light on terror hotspots

19 January 2005 The Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) meeting later this month in Kazakhstan will allow the United Nations to expand the global anti-terror network, especially in an area haunted by terrorist activity, the Permanent Representative of Russia, who chairs the committee, and the committee's Executive Director said today.

Kazakhstan was chosen for the CTC's fourth meeting, to be held from 26 to 28 January, because it is a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and "quite a number of CIS countries, including Russia, which is currently chair of the CIS, are victims of terrorist attacks," Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov told a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York.

With Afghanistan as a neighbour, Central Asia was one of the areas where "terrorism has deep roots," he said, "and it is very important to streamline the activities of the Central Asian countries and to focus attention on this part of the world in order to increase the global counter-terrorism capacity."

Dozens of international organizations and UN Member States had expressed a wish to take part and Kazakhstan had had a great deal of experience in staging large conferences, he said.

The Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED), UN Assistant Secretary-General Javier Rupérez, said the location of the meeting would permit those attending to take a close look at an area that is full of promise, but also full of problems springing out of terrorism.

In a separate statement, he said the more than 70 organizations attending "have vast experience and established networks and many of them fund technical assistance programmes that can help poorer nations bring their laws into harmony with international conventions and resolutions against terrorism."

Many countries had the will but not the capacity to secure their borders and financial systems against terrorist intrusions, or to share vital information with their neighbours. "The challenge before us is to establish coherent policies and share the best practices and resources to win" the counter-terrorism fight, Mr. Rupérez said.

The meeting's two-day agenda will include stopping money laundering, regulation of formal and informal money transfers, the activities of charities, freezing and seizing illicit assets, cooperation over financial intelligence, as well as port security, border monitoring, preventing illegal trafficking in arms and hazardous materials and the safe international and legal transit of people and goods.

Mr. Denisov said the next stage of the CTC's work, after reading country reports and assessing technical and judicial needs, would be to provide UN Member States with assistance in improving their ability to take steps against counter-terrorism.

In addition, the Russian Federation will step down from the chairmanship at the end of March and be succeeded by Denmark, he added.

The new chair would be Danish Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Løj, with Algeria, Brazil and Greece elected as vice-chairs, he said.

The previous CTC meetings were held on 6 March 2003 at UN Headquarters, on 7 October 2003 in Washington, DC, and on 11 and 12 March 2004 in Vienna, Austria.

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