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OAS Secretary General Calls for Continued Fight against Terrorism

  March 17, 2010

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, said today that “acts of terrorism are a direct attack against the essential values this Organization defends,” during the inaugural ceremony of the Tenth Regular Session of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE), which was held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.

“The OAS and CICTE have framed our work with full respect for the Rule of Law, international law, international human rights law, international humanitarian law and international refugee law.”

“The respect for international law, the protection of human rights and the fight against terrorism are complementary responsibilities that mutually feed on each other and support each other,” the Secretary General said. The inter-American community must be certain that “the OAS will continue to act in this area with strict adherence to such legal instruments, and its necessary steps will always reflect the legal and moral principles expressed by them.”

In the last decade, important achievements have been made in international and multilateral cooperation, “yet these achievements must not slow us down but motivate us to strengthen our efforts to prevent acts of terrorism,” Insulza said.

The head of the OAS emphasized that, though the fight against terrorism is an essential duty of the State, “the private sector effectively collaborates with public institutions in many of our countries in areas such as port security and airports, the protection of critical infrastructure such as in the energy, tourism or information sectors, in the fight against the financing of terrorism, and the prevention and mitigation of the effects of a crisis generated by an act of terrorism.”

“The CICTE—Insulza added—has been strategically associated with more than 40 entities and organizations around the world, thus reinforcing the message of unity that the fight against terrorism requires, ensuring the highest quality in the implementation of its projects and making use of resources in the most efficient way,” an example of which is the existing cooperation with various entities of the United Nations, “especially with the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council and its Executive Office, with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the Office on Drugs and Crime and with its Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute.”

The annual meeting ends Friday, March 19, and, among other activities, includes the elections of Committee Chair and Vice Chair, as well as an analysis of collaboration between the public and private spheres in the fight against terrorism.

Reference: E-075/10