Makis Voridis (right) and Vladimir Voronkov meeting at the UN in New York, 3 December 2018Makis Voridis (right) and Vladimir Voronkov meeting at the UN in New York, 3 December 2018NEW YORK, 3 December 2018 – Strengthening the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s co-operation with the United Nations was the focus of meetings today in New York. Chair of the OSCE PA’s Ad Hoc Committee on Countering Terrorism (CCT) Makis Voridis (Greece) was visiting UN headquarters to discuss the PA’s counter-terrorism activities and build synergy on counter-terrorism.

Voridis met with Vladimir Voronkov, Undersecretary General of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, which co-ordinates the UN’s counter-terrorism efforts. In discussions with Voronkov, Voridis welcomed the office’s contribution towards the coherent implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006.

In a meeting with Ambassador Gustavo Meza-Cuadra, Chair of the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC), and Michèle Coninsx, Assistant Secretary General and Executive Director of the CTC, Voridis commended the work of the UN in countering terrorism and stressed that the OSCE PA is working to leverage its strengths to promote more informed and co-ordinated actions at the parliamentary level.

“Comprehensive, co-operative and creative approaches are needed from the international community to effectively prevent violent extremism and counter terrorism,” said Voridis. “This means that engagement from parliamentarians is essential in order to develop the broadest strategy, one that reduces redundancy and identifies top priorities. To deal with this threat we all must work together.”

The sides discussed the UN’s priorities and how they could better engage members of parliament in the UN’s counter-terrorism strategies. Voridis expressed the PA’s eagerness to strengthen its co-operation with relevant UN entities and emphasized the importance of safeguarding fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

He described the CCT’s achievements in strengthening parliamentarians’ engagement on counter-terrorism by leveraging their lawmaking and oversight functions, including by promoting the implementation of international obligations in the context of returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters.

Voridis and Hudson   Port AuthorityRichard Hudson and Makis Voridis with officials at the Port Authority, 3 December 2018Earlier in the day, Voridis was joined by U.S. Congressman and Vice-Chair of the CCT Richard Hudson for meetings at New York's Port Authority.

Voridis’s meetings continue this week in Washington, where he will participate in a briefing at the United States Helsinki Commission on Tuesday and meet with members of the U.S.’s OSCE PA delegation, as well as representatives of the U.S. National Counterterrorism Centre, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

He also expects to discuss counter-terrorism strategies with leading experts from civil society and academia.