Following the attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001, the OSCE recognized the need to establish a focal point in the Organization to co-ordinate and facilitate all its actions against terrorism. Within a short time, the Bucharest Plan of Action for Combating Terrorism, adopted at the OSCE Ministerial Council on 4 December 2001, provided the mandate for the establishment of the Action against Terrorism Unit (ATU). The unit is now part of the OSCE Secretariat's Transnational Threats Department (TNT).
The ATU supports the 57 OSCE participating States, the Chairman-in-Office and the Secretary General in their activities aimed at preventing and fighting terrorism. The overall objective of the Unit is to respond rapidly and efficiently, in co-ordination with internal and external partners, to requests from participating States for anti-terrorism assistance.
One of ATU's main goals is to address existing gaps in the anti-terrorism capabilities of the participating States. To this end, the Unit has developed an inventory of multilateral and bilateral anti-terrorism capacity-building measures taken in the OSCE region since United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 was passed in September 2001. ATU also serves as an anti-terrorism information resource for OSCE participating States and other international, regional and sub-regional as well as non-governmental organizations.
Platform for co-operative security
The main goal of the platform is to strengthen relations between organizations and institutions concerned with promoting comprehensive security within the OSCE area. Co-operation and avoiding the duplication of efforts is fundamental to the OSCE approach. OSCE action against terrorism is conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
TNT/ATU and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR)
In co-operation with the ODIHR, ATU assists field activities in developing anti-terrorism projects. The ODIHR is primarily responsible for providing technical assistance and for the development and implementation of human dimension projects.