Assembly Considers Measures to Stop International Terrorism

Article excerpt

Measures to eliminate international terrorism highlighted the work of the General Assembly's Sixth Committee (Legal) which almost finalized a draft convention for the suppression of nuclear terrorism and initiated work on a convention to stop terrorist financing.

On 8 December, in adopting 14 drafts submitted by the Committee, the Assembly also acted on such matters as the International Criminal Court, the International Law Decade, protection of victims of armed conflicts and protection of diplomatic and consular staff.

Committee Chairman Jargalsaikhany Enkhsaikhan of Mongolia hailed the "constructive atmosphere" prevailing throughout the session. He commended coordinators of the draft texts and delegations for their "spirit of cooperation, hard work and pragmatism", and recalled the first-ever in-session dialogue held between the International Law Commission and the Sixth Committee as "a trend to be encouraged and continued".

The two draft conventions - on the suppression of nuclear terrorism and on terrorist financing - were part of a practical sectoral approach to combating terrorism adopted by the international community. So far, 11 international instruments have been established dealing with specific manifestations of terrorism, such as hijacking, bombings and hostage-taking.

The draft convention on nuclear terrorism defined the offences considered as terrorist acts and outlined a prosecution or extradition scheme for offenders. One major issue that remained to be settled was whether official activities of armed forces would be excluded from acts defined as nuclear terrorism.

With regard to terrorist financing, the Assembly decided that its Ad Hoc Committee on international terrorism would elaborate on the draft submitted by France.

Deeply disturbed by the persistence of terrorist acts, the Assembly strongly condemned criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror for political purposes. It urged all States to become parties to relevant anti-terrorist conventions and protocols, including the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, and enact domestic legislation necessary to ensure the prosecution of perpetrators of terrorist acts. Further, the Assembly indicated that it would consider at its fifty-fourth session the question of convening a high-level United Nations conference in the year 2000 to formulate a collective response of the international community to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

By another resolution, the Assembly asked the Secretary-General to convene the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, in order to finalize practical arrangements for the Court's functioning. …