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Brussels, 17 April 2009

Commission adopts new programme to fight terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

On the eve of the donors’ conference for Pakistan, the European Commission has adopted a new three year programme to fight terrorism, trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The 2009-2011 Indicative Programme for the Instrument for Stability includes the first global counter-terrorism measures developed by the Commission together with experts from EU Member States. Key priorities are Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the Sahel region in Africa.

“The Commission has an important role to play in fighting terrorism by supporting capacity building in third countries such as Pakistan and in the Sahel region,” said External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. She explained that “Commission development programmes must pay close attention to security issues linked with terrorism, organized crime and trafficking.”

The programme also includes a significant component to tackle the threat of piracy to critical maritime routes, in particular in the Gulf of Aden, by enhancing the capacity of coastal states to patrol their own territorial waters and exchange information.

Links between terrorism and organized crime are addressed in areas such as drugs trafficking from Latin America to Western Africa, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and illicit trafficking in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials.

“In the area of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction our ambition is to consolidate the work already carried out in the former Soviet Union and focus more on new regions of concern such as the Middle East, South and South-East Asia”, said Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner. “We need to work closely with Member States and other international donors to promote a non-proliferation culture of safety and security, e.g. by creating regional centres of excellence.”

With an indicative budget of €225 million the three year programme is designed to address the broad range of threats outlined in the European Security Strategy and complement actions funded by other EU instruments and Member States. For further information see the attached memorandum.

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