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UN: Terrorism Fight Should Focus on Regional Cooperation - 2002-04-17

The head of a U.N. committee charged with coordinating U.N. efforts to fight terrorism says there should be more focus on regional cooperation. He also suggested African countries could need help in combating terrorism.

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock says regional organizations are "absolutely vital" to the fight against terrorism. But he emphasized in an address to the Security Council that states must take responsibility for fighting terrorism.

Mr. Greenstock is chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, set up by the Security Council, just weeks after the September 11 terrorist attacks. The committee, which comprises representatives from all 15 Security Council members, is charged with overseeing implementation of resolution 1373, which calls on all states to "prevent and suppress" any form of support for terrorist activity.

Mr. Greenstock said the Security Council and the, committee, or CTC, can only do so much. "State responsibility lies at the heart of the effective implementation of Resolution 1373," he said. "In the end, the CTC can only be a catalyst for this, although, if we have to there is a bit of a stick to weigh. But states must take on their own responsibility there's nothing more important than that."

Mr. Greenstock also said Africa may need help in fighting terrorism. He said the continent is "in danger of falling behind" in the anti-terrorist effort, due to a "lack of experience" in the area.