Thursday, February 17, 2005



17 February 2005


On the 8th of February 2005, the Counter-Terrorism International Conference released its communiqué titled the 'Riyadh Declaration'.


And the main output of the communiqué. To quote: “A task force has been formed to crystallize this proposal.” And what is that proposal? Well, it's for the establishment of an international center for combating terrorism.

If you read the communiqué, its reads as if all the delegates had a great time, and came away full of warmth for humanity. Nice!

So what is this Centre of Combating Terrorism? What will it exactly do? Who will fund it? How will it be managed? What are its scope and terms of reference? Is it policy focussed, advisory? Can it recommend police and or military actions? Where will it be based?

Some of the questions are answered at

The article states: “The "Riyadh Declaration" did not say where the center would be based, but the head of one delegation at the four-day meeting in the Saudi capital had earlier said it would be set up in Switzerland. … The center, staffed by counter-terrorism experts, would exchange and pass information instantly in a manner compatible with the speed of events and prevent them (terror attacks) before they occur.” But doesn’t this happen anyway, through Interpol, and state spy agenies?

The Declaration formally ends with: “The Declaration emphasized the importance of spreading virtuous human values and the spirit of tolerance and coexistence, urging the media to refrain from publishing information materials that call for extremism and violence.” So it calls for censorship!

In all, the reader is left with nothing more than a warm inner glow and not much more substance to work with. It is a pity that the Declaration was not more imminent and forthright.

A full copy of the declaration is provided below:

Counter-Terrorism International Conference: 'Riyadh Declaration'
The Counter-Terrorism International Conference held in Riyadh February 5-8, 2005, issued a final communiqué on February 8, to be known as the 'Riyadh Declaration'.

The Riyadh Declaration stresses that no international effort will be capable of effective confrontation with the phenomenon of terrorism unless there is cooperation and a comprehensive strategic perspective to deal with it. Within this framework, the countries and organizations support and adopt the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, referred to in his opening address to the Conference, for the establishment of an international center for combating terrorism. A task force has been formed to crystallize this proposal.

The communiqué praised the spirit of understanding and cooperation that prevailed during the conference, and the unanimity of vision and stance concerning the danger of the phenomenon of terrorism and the necessity of confronting it by long-term, united, and organized international efforts. These efforts must respect the principles of the United Nations, particularly those regulations governing human rights that enhance its inherent role, in adopting a comprehensive and multilateral approach. The Conference affirmed that terrorism constantly threatens peace, security and stability, and that there is no justification whatsoever for terrorist acts, which are always condemned whatever their circumstances or alleged motives might be.

The Declaration emphasized the importance of enhancing the values of understanding, tolerance, dialogue, and multilateralism, becoming acquainted with other peoples, bringing cultures together, rejecting any clash of civilizations, and combating any ideology that calls for hatred, instigates violence, or justifies the terrorist crimes that are denounced by all religions and laws.

The Conference affirmed that terrorism has no particular religion, race, nationality or geographical area. In this context, it stressed that any attempt to link terrorism with any religion is helpful only to the terrorists.

The countries and organizations participating in the Conference emphasized their commitment to the United Nations resolutions that relate to combating terrorism, calling on the international community to condemn terrorism, combat it by all means available, and confront it in every way in accordance with the United Nations Charter, since terrorist acts threaten international peace and security.

The Declaration stressed that the United Nations is the basic platform for the enhancement of international cooperation against terrorism, that the relevant UN Security Council resolutions form a firm and comprehensive basis for combating terrorism internationally, and that all countries should fully comply with these resolutions. It called on all countries to join, ratify and implement the twelve international treaties on combating terrorism.

The Declaration called for the promotion of self-effort aimed at expanding political participation, achieving sustainable development, meeting the requirements of the social equilibrium, and activating the role of civil institutions, in order to confront the circumstances that are conducive to the spread of violence and deviant ideas. It emphasized the role of the mass media, civil institutions and educational systems in forging strategies to confront terrorist allegations and encouraging the press to set down guidelines for information and news reports.

The Conference demanded that the United Nations develop criteria to facilitate non-profit, charitable and humanitarian organizations in carrying out their roles organizing relief work, and to prevent their exploitation in illegal activities.
The Declaration called for cooperation at national, bilateral, and regional level among specializing bodies for in the fight against not only terrorism, but money laundering, trafficking in weapons and explosives, and smuggling drugs, in order to exchange their expertise and experience, including training, and ensure their effectiveness in confronting terrorist links to organized crime. It stressed the need to strengthen international measures aimed at preventing terrorists from possessing weapons of mass destruction, and to support the role of the United Nations in this respect, including full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1540. It called for supporting and assisting countries, upon their request, in the field of combating terrorism particularly in providing equipment and training and building up their capabilities.

The countries and organizations participating in the Conference called for the development of legislation and measures to prevent terrorists from exploiting the laws of asylum and immigration in order to obtain a safe haven in certain countries or use the territories of these countries as bases for recruitment or training, or for planning, instigating or launching acts of terrorism against other countries.
The Declaration emphasized the importance of spreading virtuous human values and the spirit of tolerance and coexistence, urging the media to refrain from publishing information materials that call for extremism and violence.

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