Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saudi Arabia to help create anti-terror center at UN

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Monday that the world body has signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to help create a UN Center for Counter Terrorism (UNCCT).

"The center will go a long way in countering terrorism around the world," he said at a signing ceremony with Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal.

Prince Saud said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah proposed the center while opening the Riyadh conference in 2005.

"Terrorism has no religion," the minister said, adding that the religion that the terrorists profess should not be accused of terrorism.

"There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in different parts of the world who represent an age-old culture that calls for peace, cooperation and tolerance.

He said Saudi Arabia was one of the countries that suffered the most due to terrorism. "Our country stood firmly against terrorism with the support of its people."

He said the Kingdom not only took security measures to stop terrorism but also found solutions such as drying up financial resources and preventing recruitment of naïve people by terror groups.

Saudi Arabia will contribute $10 million over the next three years to set up the center, which will be based in New York. The center will support the implementation of an anti-terror strategy, foster international cooperation, strengthen individual countries' capacity-building efforts and build up a database of best practices.

UNCCT is one of the proposals made by a counterterrorism conference in Riyadh five years ago. Since then, Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly calling for the setting up of the center to strengthen global efforts to fight terror.

Earlier, addressing a counter-terrorism forum in New York, the UN chief called for strengthening collective resolve to defeat this menace that affects all nations and to build a safer world for all.

"What I see here today is a recognition that we are all in this fight together," Ban told the Symposium on International Counter-terrorism Cooperation, the first in a series of high-level events being convened this week on the margins of the 66th General Assembly.

- Arab News

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