27 February 1997

Press Release


The Ad Hoc Committee on the elaboration of a convention on the suppression of terrorist bombings this morning completed the composition of its bureau by electing Martin Smejkal (Czech Republic) as its Rapporteur. The process started with Monday's election of Philip Kirsch (Canada) as Chairman, and Carlos Fernando Díaz (Costa Rica), Samia Ladgham (Tunisia) and Rohan Perera (Sri Lanka) as Vice-Chairmen. Following the Rapporteur's election, the Committee transformed itself into a working group of the whole to continue discussing a draft international convention for suppressing terrorist bombings, submitted by France on behalf of the "Group of Seven" major industrialized countries and the Russian Federation. Established by General Assembly resolution 51/210, of 17 December 1996, the Committee -- open to all Member States of the United Nations, the specialized agencies and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) -- was mandated to elaborate such a convention and to address means of further developing a comprehensive framework of conventions on international terrorism. Efforts to elaborate the convention would help fill the gaps in the 13 existing instruments on the subject, the Committee was told at Monday's opening meeting by the Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, Hans Corell. The 13 include: the 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation; Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the General Assembly of 14 December 1973; International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the Assembly on 17 December 1979; the 1979 Vienna Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material; the 1991 Montreal Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection; the 1977 European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism; the 1971 Washington Convention to Prevent and Punish the Acts of Terrorism Taking the Form of Crimes against Persons and Related Extortion that are Internationally Significant; and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Regional Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, signed in 1987 in Kathmandu. The Ad Hoc Committee's next meeting will be announced.

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