Friday, 21 April 2017

Czech expert: Disputes over definition thwart anti-terror struggle

ČTK |
6 January 2017

Prague, Jan 5 (CTK) - Countries' disputes over a definition of terrorism, or what can be considered terror, complicate international cooperation in fighting terrorism, Miroslav Mares, Czech expert in extremism, said at a Prague congress discussing a joint campaign against terrorism on Thursday.

When discussing the extent of cooperation, the international community should consider whether it may be misused by authoritarian regimes for their own purposes, Mares, a lecturer at Brno's Masaryk University, said.

"The U.N. still fails to adopt a kind of a general convention on terrorism. The dispute some Arab countries have had with Israel and its allies has been one of the causes of the failure," Mares said.

The lack of a global definition of terrorism is a crucial problem also because the first attempts to formulate it were made in the League of Nations as early as in the 1930s, he said.

In spite of this, countries are interested in fighting terrorism, Mares continued.

"The globalisation of terrorism and its way of hitting various countries poses a similar threat to the security interests of various elites in the world," Mares said.

"Civilian victims are unpleasant for a crushing majority of the present world's governments," he said.

That is also why an exchange of information between the secret services has often been applied as the most effective instrument of the anti-terror struggle, Mares said.

At the same time, he said it is necessary to assess individual cases of cooperation.

"The international community must seek a balance between the pursuing of the common interest and the observance of the idea of humanism. The fight against terrorism should not harm the interests of humanity by allowing excessive cooperation with regimes that would misuse the anti-terror motto for other purposes," Mares said.

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