Effective response to terrorism requires int’l community cooperation

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan which suffered deadly terrorist attacks recently gave a clarion call for the international community to undertake concerted and coordinated national and international action in a determined effort to stamp out the scourge.

For the past two days Pakistan has been in the grip of a battle against the fury and cowardice of terrorists Ambassador Masood Khan Pakistan’s permanent representative to the U.N. said referring to the assaults on Jinnah International Airport and the targeting of returning pilgaims in Taftan Balochistan.

Terrorism is not an abstract phenomenon. It is a scourge that hits us every day. It is truly an existential threat. All around the world we witness the catastrophic consequences and costs of terrorism. he told delegates to a seminar on criminal justice systems counter terrorism capacity building at UN Headquarters in New York.

The event was sponsored by Pakistan in cooperation with the Security Council’s Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) and the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF).

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson who was the keynote speaker said States could not alone counter the scourge noting most terrorist activities involve cross border operations. As the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy makes clear he pointed out an effective response requires the cooperation of the entire international community.

Discussions like this one today help us strengthen common approaches which support a balanced implementation of the Strategy across its four pillars addressing conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism preventing and combating terrorism building the capacity of States and the United Nations and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Eliasson also strongly condemned the upsurge of violence in Pakistan and sympathized with the victims of the attacks. Other delegates too joined in slamming the acts of terrorism and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. In his introductory remarks as the presiding officer Ambassador Masood Khan said Since our security interests are interlinked so should our counterterrorism strategies… Our success depends on our will to work as partners within nations and as a community of nations.

Developed and developing countries according to the Pakistani envoy needed capacity building as terrorists are much more sophisticated agile well quipped and lethal than ever before. The administrative machineries and and the criminal justice systems need specialized legal prosecutorial and investigative skills to deal with this monster he said. In this regards he called for revamped criminal justice framework new tools and a bigger tool kit that would serve as a collective blueprint for coordinated action.

Masood Khan said there was a strong nexus between counterterrorism which includes intelligence and military operations and the criminal justice system. Post 2001 the criminal justice systems proved to be an important instrument in collating intelligence about terrorists and in impairing and neutralizing their networks.

He said the counter terrorism capacity building in the field of criminal justice systems needed more attention because of five reasons coordination introduction of new criminal procedures use of modern communication technology by terrorists legality of evidence and security of information witnesses and judges.

Developed countries must hone their skills to strike a balance between effective provision of security to their citizens and respect for the basic principle of the rule of law and justice he said. Developing countries have to invest heavily to create a basic organizational set up and a cadre of trained professionals with the requisite technical and operational skills. This is necessary to undertake sweeping reforms which cannot wait because of the urgency to respond to the ever evolving threat of terrorism.