New York, 27. September 2010 Press release

Spindelegger: Rule of law is fundamental in countering terrorism

Foreign Minister addresses the UN Security Council

New York, 27 September 2010 - On Monday evening (16:00 CEST) the UN Security Council once again deliberated the issue of countering terrorism. In his contribution, Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, representing the current Security Council member Austria in this UN forum, specifically underlined the important role played by the rule of law in all relevant aspects, pointing out in his statement that: “the respect of human rights is fundamental to all efforts involved in countering terrorism”.

It must therefore be ensured that all measures aimed at fighting terrorism are compatible with obligations under international law in general and refugee and human rights in particular, Spindelegger emphasised, making the rule of law the common theme of his contribution. The Federal Minister went on to stress that “the development of effective law enforcement and criminal justice based on the principle of the rule of law thus represents an essential element in preventing terrorist attacks and in bringing terrorists to court”.  

Spindelegger, however, conceded that it was precisely this compatibility of rule of law principles and effective counter-terrorism activities that contained “serious challenges“, which prompted Austria to support the development of relevant guidelines ensuring that all states active in the fight against terrorism adhere to a coherent approach.

In this connection, the Foreign Minister also reported on plans to convene a meeting of regional and international experts dealing with UNSC resolution 1540 on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to be held in Vienna in mid-December. Prior to this event, Austria will host the first “Arab-European Young Leaders Forum” in November. This event, which will bring together young leaders active in the fields of politics, civil society, business and the environment, is organised in the context of a confidence-building, inter-faith and inter-cultural initiative.        

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