Vienna, 10 September 2006 - "The devastating attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 marked an incisive turning point in world history. They demonstrated the vulnerability of our open societies. The terrorist acts in Madrid in 2004 and in London last year showed that nobody can harbour any illusions of being immune to terrorism. I therefore welcome the clear common signal given by the adoption of a resolution on the fight against terrorism by the UN General Assembly on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the appalling attacks in New York," said Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik following the close of the negotiations held within the framework of the UN on the eve of the anniversary of the attacks on New York.
"Terrorism cannot be justified by anything. It is an international scourge of our societies which we have to counteract with all our might. There cannot and will not be any dialogue with terrorists. Both suitable security measures at national level and efficient and close international cooperation in fighting terrorism are imperative. Such measures are resolutely supported by us in numerous international fora such as the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe and the OECD. The adoption of the UN resolution constitutes the first agreement on a truly global strategy against terrorism," continued Plassnik.
The action plan agreed by the UN provides for a number of specific measures for the fight against terrorism. They include not only efficient cooperation between the authorities in implementing measures against the financing of terrorism but also mutual legal assistance in proceedings dealing with terrorism. Moreover, the plan also foresees the strengthening of those UN units which are responsible for the execution of specific programmes and projects against terrorism, including the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime. "This further strengthens Vienna as UN-center for international security", said Plassnik.
"In fighting terrorism, our fundamental rights and freedoms have to be observed. Our democratic institutions and procedures, which are based on the rule of law, must not be called into question. This holds particularly true for the protection of the human rights of suspects and prisoners. When fighting terrorism, we stand on a solid basis of values. Proceeding from this basis of values, we also promote the necessary dialogue among cultures and religions," concluded the Foreign Minister.
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