Charter on Preventing and Combating Terrorism (2002)



(Tenth Meeting of the Ministerial Council on 6 and 7 December 2002, Porto)

The OSCE participating States, firmly committed to the joint fight against terrorism,

1. Condemn in the strongest terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed no matter when, where or by whom and reiterate that no circumstance or motive can justify acts of or support for terrorism;

2. Firmly reject identification of terrorism with any nationality or religion and reaffirm that action against terrorism is not aimed against any religion, nation or people;

3. Recognize that terrorism requires a co-ordinated and comprehensive response and that acts of international terrorism, as stated in the United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), constitute a threat to international and regional peace and security;

4. Declare that acts, methods and practices of terrorism, as well as knowingly providing assistance to, acquiescing in, financing, planning and inciting such acts, are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and the OSCE;

5. Consider of utmost importance to complement the ongoing implementation of OSCE commitments on terrorism with a reaffirmation of the fundamental and timeless principles on which OSCE action has been undertaken and will continue to be based in the future, and to which participating States fully subscribe;

6. Reaffirm their commitment to take the measures needed to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially the right to life, of everyone within their jurisdiction against terrorist acts;

7. Undertake to implement effective and resolute measures against terrorism and to conduct all counter-terrorism measures and co-operation in accordance with the rule of law, the United Nations Charter and the relevant provisions of international law, international standards of human rights and, where applicable, international humanitarian law;

8. Reaffirm that every State is obliged to refrain from harbouring terrorists, organizing, instigating, providing active or passive support or assistance to, or otherwise sponsoring terrorist acts in another State, or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts;

9. Will co-operate to ensure that any person who wilfully participates in financing, planning, preparing or perpetrating terrorist acts, or in supporting such acts, is brought to justice and, to that end, will afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in providing information in connection with criminal investigations or criminal extradition proceedings relating to terrorist acts, in accordance with their domestic law and international obligations;

10. Will take appropriate steps to ensure that asylum is not granted to any person who has planned, facilitated or participated in terrorist acts, in conformity with relevant provisions of national and international law, and through the proper application of the exclusion clauses contained in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol;

11. Recognize that the relevant United Nations conventions and protocols, and United Nations Security Council resolutions, in particular United Nations Security Council resolution 1373 (2001), constitute the primary international legal framework for the fight against terrorism;

12. Recognize the importance of the work developed by the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and reaffirm the obligation and willingness of participating States and the OSCE to co-operate with this Committee;

13. Recall the OSCE role as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter, and its obligations in this context to contribute to the global fight against terrorism;

14. Recall their Decision on Combating Terrorism and its Plan of Action for Combating Terrorism, adopted at the Ninth Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council in Bucharest and reaffirm the commitments contained therein;

15. Take note with satisfaction of the Declaration and the Programme of Action adopted at the Bishkek International Conference on Enhancing Security and Stability in Central Asia: Strengthening Comprehensive Efforts to Counter Terrorism, held on 13 and 14 December 2001;

16. Reiterate the commitment undertaken in the framework of the Charter for European Security, including the Platform for Co-operative Security, adopted at the Istanbul Summit, to co-operate more actively and closely with each other and with other international organizations to meet threats and challenges to security;

17. Underscore that the prevention of and fight against terrorism must be built upon a concept of common and comprehensive security and enduring approach, and commit to using the three dimensions and all the bodies and institutions of the OSCE to assist participating States, at their request, in preventing and combating terrorism in all its forms;

18. Undertake to fulfil their obligation, in accordance with the United Nations conventions, protocols and Security Council resolutions, as well as other international commitments, to ensure that terrorist acts and activities that support such acts, including the financing of terrorism, are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws;

19. Will work together to prevent, suppress, investigate and prosecute terrorist acts, including through increased co-operation and full implementation of the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism;

20. Are convinced of the need to address conditions that may foster and sustain terrorism, in particular by fully respecting democracy and the rule of law, by allowing all citizens to participate fully in political life, by preventing discrimination and encouraging intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in their societies, by engaging civil society in finding common political settlement for conflicts, by promoting human rights and tolerance and by combating poverty;

21. Acknowledge the positive role the media can play in promoting tolerance and understanding among religions, beliefs, cultures and peoples, as well as for raising awareness of the threat of terrorism;

22. Commit themselves to combat hate speech and to take the necessary measures to prevent the abuse of the media and information technology for terrorist purposes, ensuring that such measures are consistent with domestic and international law and OSCE commitments;

23. Will prevent the movement of terrorist individuals or groups through effective border controls and controls relating to the issuance of identity papers and travel documents;

24. Recognize the need to complement international co-operation by taking all necessary measures to prevent and suppress, in their territories through all lawful means, assistance to, and the financing and preparation of, any acts of terrorism, and to criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for terrorist purposes, in the framework of their obligations under the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and relevant Security Council resolutions;

25. Reaffirm their commitment to fulfil their international obligations, as set out in United Nations Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1390 (2002), and in particular to freeze the assets of those designated by the Committee established pursuant to United Nations Security Council resolution 1267 (1999);

26. Note with concern the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime, money laundering, trafficking in human beings, drugs and arms, and in this regard emphasize the need to enhance co-ordination and to develop co-operative approaches at all levels in order to strengthen their response to these serious threats and challenges to security and stability;

27. Declare their determination to use in good faith all relevant instruments available within the politico-military dimension of the OSCE, as represented by the Forum for Security Co-operation, and emphasize the importance of fully implementing these instruments in particular, the Code of Conduct on Politico-Military Aspects of Security and the OSCE Document on Small Arms and Light Weapons;

28. Reaffirm that arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation remain indispensable elements of co-operative security between States; that they can also make an essential contribution by reducing the risk of terrorists gaining access to weapons and materials of mass destruction and their means of delivery;

Express determination to combat the risk posed by the illicit spread of and access to conventional weapons, including small arms and light weapons;

Will make every effort to minimize those dangers through national efforts and through strengthening and enhancing the existing multilateral instruments in the fields of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation including the OSCE Principles Governing Non-Proliferation and to support their effective implementation and, where applicable, universalization.