VIENNA, 7 September 2011 – Joint efforts are needed to combat terrorism and other transnational threats as well as to promote peace and respect for human rights, said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, in an address to OSCE participating States in Vienna today.
“We share with the OSCE a broad understanding of the concept of security,” he said, addressing a joint meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council and Forum for Security Co-operation. “Emerging challenges such as cyber attacks, transnational crime, terrorism, illicit trafficking in small arms and light weapons, drugs and human beings and energy security – among others – continue to broaden the concept.”
Speaking ahead of the tenth anniversary of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, he said: “More than any other event over the past decade, these terrorist attacks transformed our world. Less than two weeks ago, the United Nations House in the Nigerian capital of Abuja was the subject of a car bomb attack that took the lives of 23 people. It was a stark reminder that terrorism remains a potent force, also in areas where we may not expect it.”
“Regional organizations have a role to play in helping countries develop capacity. Here, the anti-terrorism work of the OSCE – with facilitation of implementation of international legal instruments, strengthened border management and organization of contacts between anti-terrorism practitioners – has produced good results.”
He also highlighted the two organizations’ efforts to deal with the crisis in Kyrgyzstan last year and combined mediation efforts in the South Caucasus, saying that “the best guarantee of global security is conflict prevention.”
Speaking about the value of OSCE support in North Africa and the Middle East he said: “The experience of regional organizations, also beyond the immediate regional context, is of value. The OSCE’s knowledge in facilitating political dialogue, building accountable institutions, advancing the rule of law, monitoring electoral processes, promoting national reconciliation and protecting human rights can provide practical tools for the international response.”
Tokayev also discussed UN-OSCE co-operation to promote peace, fundamental freedoms and human rights, sustainable development, and arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation, as outlined by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the OSCE Summit in Astana last December.
The Permanent Council and the Forum for Security Co-operation are two of the OSCE's main, regular decision-making bodies. They meet weekly in Vienna to discuss developments and make decisions. The Forum focuses on military aspects of security in the OSCE area, in particular confidence- and security building measures.