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UN chief says terrorism remains "potent" threat to countries around the world

(Xinhua)

15:10, September 29, 2011

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said here Wednesday that terrorism still poses a great challenge to the international community and requires global cooperation if it is to be eliminated.

Ban's remarks came as he addressed a meeting of the UN Security Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) to commemorate the 10- year anniversary of the committee's establishment through council resolution 1373.

"Terrorism is still as potent a threat today as it was ten years ago," he said. "Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives. Repeated attacks have had severe economic consequences and taken a toll on state stability and regional harmony."

The Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373 on September 28, 2001, shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. The resolution urged states to take legal, institutional and security measures as well as work across borders to prevent terrorism.

Ban said the adoption of the resolution was a milestone in the UN's strong leadership of counter-terrorism efforts.

"In the early days after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, the Security Council's resolve contributed greatly to our global efforts against this menace," said Ban.

"The threat remains, and the council's role and active engagement remain of utmost importance."

The CTC's executive directorate (CTED) is tasked with implementing the committee's policy decisions as well as evaluating and facilitating assistance to the counter-terrorism efforts of individual member states.

"The committee and executive directorate continue to assess gaps and shortfalls, and to facilitate much-needed technical assistance and capacity building," Ban explained. "The committee's continued focus on ensuring national respect for human rights and the rule of law is also of great importance."

The secretary-general said that the message of resolution 1373 was amplified by the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy, approved by member states in 2006.

The strategy lays out specific measures to be taken on the national, regional, and global levels to thwart terrorism. The Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) helps coordinate action and UN support for such efforts.

Ban said that such coordination through the CTITF is crucial to international anti-terrorism efforts.

The secretary-general also said he was "very encouraged by the momentum and outcome of the Symposium on International Counter- Terrorism Cooperation."

The symposium, held here on Sept. 19, brought high-level officials from around the world together to discuss counter- terrorism issues.

"It is clear that the international community remains determined to meet this challenge," Ban said.

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