United Nations

A/50/685


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

26 October 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (b)


            HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS, INCLUDING
            ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES FOR IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVE ENJOYMENT
OF HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS

Human rights and terrorism

Report of the Secretary-General


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   The  present  report is  submitted  in pursuance  of  General  Assembly
resolution  49/185  of   23  December   1994  entitled  "Human  rights   and
terrorism", which reads as follows:

  "The General Assembly,

  "...

  "1.   Reiterates its  unequivocal condemnation  of all  acts, methods  and
practices of  terrorism, as  activities aimed  at the  destruction of  human
rights,  fundamental  freedoms and  democracy,  threatening  the territorial
integrity and  security  of States,  destabilizing legitimately  constituted
Governments,  undermining  pluralistic  civil  society  and  having  adverse
consequences on the economic and social development of States;

  "2.  Expresses its solidarity with the victims of terrorism;

  "3.   Calls upon States  to take all  necessary and  effective measures in
accordance  with international standards of human rights, to prevent, combat
and eliminate all acts  of terrorism wherever and by whomever committed, and
urges  the international  community  to  enhance  cooperation in  the  fight
against  the threat  of terrorism  at national,  regional  and international
levels;



95-32557 (E)   021195/...
*9532557*
  "4.  Requests the Secretary-General to seek the views of Member States  on
the possible  establishment of a United  Nations voluntary  fund for victims

of terrorism and to  submit to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session,
for its  consideration, a report containing  comments made  by Member States
on the subject;

  "5.    Also requests  the Secretary-General  to transmit  the text  of the
present  resolution  to  all  Member  States and  to  competent  specialized
agencies and intergovernmental organizations for their consideration;

  "6.  Encourages  special rapporteurs, special representatives and  working
groups of the Commission on  Human Rights, as well as treaty bodies, to  pay
appropriate  attention, within  their mandates,  to the  consequences of the
acts, methods and practices of terrorist groups;

  "7.  Decides to  consider this question at its fiftieth session under  the
item entitled 'Human rights questions'."

2.  In accordance with the requests formulated  in paragraph 5 of the  above
resolution  and in  paragraph 4  of  Commission  on Human  Rights resolution
1995/43, also entitled "Human rights and terrorism", the  Secretary-General,
by a  note verbale dated 3 May  1995, drew the attention of Member States to
the two resolutions.

3.  Since Member States  did not respond to paragraph 4 of General  Assembly
resolution 49/185  by expressing  their views on the  possible establishment
of a United Nations voluntary fund for victims  of terrorism, the Secretary-
General sent  an additional  note verbale on  6 September 1995  in which  he
specifically  requested   that  Governments  communicate  their  views  with
respect to paragraph  4 of General Assembly  resolution 49/185 no later than
10 October 1995.

4.  At the  time of the preparation of  the present report, replies had been
received  from the  Governments of  Ethiopia, France,  Greece, Iraq,  Japan,
Lebanon, Sweden and the Syrian Arab Republic.  These are reproduced below.


II.  REPLIES FROM GOVERNMENTS

Ethiopia

[Original:  English]

  The Ethiopian  Government  in principle  supports the  establishment of  a
United  Nations voluntary  fund for  victims  of  terrorism as  envisaged in
General Assembly resolution 49/185 of 23 December 1994.


 France

[Original:  French]

  On a national basis,  France already has a  guarantee fund for  victims of
terrorism financed by the levying of percentages of insurance contracts.

  It  considers that  the establishment  of machinery  of this  type at  the
international level would raise questions, notably  of a practical and legal
nature, which might make it difficult to put this initiative into effect.

  Moreover,  France  is in  general  opposed  to  the  establishment of  new
voluntary funds within the United Nations system.


Greece

[Original:  English]

  The Greek Government is of the opinion that  the establishment of a United

Nations voluntary fund for victims of terrorism would be a positive step.


Iraq

[Original:  Arabic]

  Iraq attaches importance  to the struggle against  terrorism.  This  is in
keeping with the principles governing our policy, as  well as our desire  to
preserve   international  stability  and  security.    It  is  also  clearly
reflected   in  Iraq's  constitutional   provisions  and  national  criminal
legislation and in the  statements of Iraqi officials and, primarily, of the
President of  the Republic  who has  emphasized  on more  than one  occasion
that, officially  and in actual  practice, we are  opposed to  terrorism and
terrorist behaviour since,  as a matter of policy, we do not  regard them as
the proper way to deal with problems encountered in daily life.

  With regard  to national criminal legislation,  the Iraqi  Penal Code does
not classify acts  of terrorism as political  offences; on the  contrary, it
regards them  as ordinary offences even  if they  are politically motivated.
In fact, the Penal Code prescribes penalties for numerous offences that  are
regarded  as acts  of  terrorism, including  offences  prejudicial  to State
security, offences  committed against  the public  authorities and  offences
that constitute a public  danger, such as acts  of arson, the  detonation of
explosive    devices,    attacks    on    transport,    communication    and
telecommunication facilities and acts detrimental to the progress of work.

  Iraqi legislation also deals with the  potential motives of terrorism  and
ways  to  protect  citizens  from  engagement  in  practices  that  might be
regarded as  terrorism.   This is  exemplified by  many of  the decrees  and
measures adopted  in recent  years on  the basis  of the  provisions of  the
Iraqi  Constitution, particularly  those guaranteeing  the basic  rights  of
citizens without  any distinction  on grounds of  sex, race or  religion and
safeguarding  the rights of  ethnic minorities  and freedom  of religion and
belief.  There are also other texts  and measures that seek to contribute to
the struggle  against terrorism in accordance  with the recommendations  and
resolutions of the United Nations and the principles of international law.

  At  the international  level,  Iraq  has  diligently participated  in  the
endeavours  made to combat  terrorism.   At the 1972 session  of the General
Assembly, Iraq emphasized the need for  the international community to agree
on  a clear  definition of  terrorism and  its scope.   Iraq focused  on the
importance of identifying the underlying causes  of the alarming increase in
international terrorism before discussing the measures  needed to combat it.
Iraq criticized  the major  Powers for  obstructing the  endeavours made  to
find solutions to many of  the complex problems in some  parts of the  world
which  might be  among  the  causes of  the  alarming increase  in  acts  of
terrorism.

  Iraq also stressed  that the principles and aims of peoples struggling for
self-determination or  national liberation should in  no way  be affected by
the  discussion of  measures  to  be taken  to combat  terrorism.   Iraq has
already  emphasized the need  to discuss  the problem  carefully, through an
in-depth study  of all its  aspects and manifestations,  in order to  devise
internationally acceptable  solutions  after taking  into consideration  the
comments submitted by the Governments of Member States.

  It is  noteworthy  that the  Iraqi Government  has  ratified  many of  the
conventions  adopted by  the General  Assembly or  its organs  to deal  with
various  aspects   of  the  problem   of  international  terrorism.    These
conventions include:

1.    The Convention  on the  Prevention  and  Punishment of  Crimes against
Internationally  Protected Persons,  including Diplomatic  Agents, which was
adopted by the General Assembly in 1973.

2.   The Convention  on Offences  and Certain Other Acts  Committed On Board
Aircraft, which was signed at Tokyo in 1963.

3.   The Convention  for the Suppression  of Unlawful  Seizure of  Aircraft,
which was signed at The Hague in 1970.

4.  The Convention  for the Suppression of  Unlawful Acts Against the Safety
of Civil Aviation, which was signed at Montreal in 1971.

  In  this connection, reference  should also  be made to the  fact that the
comments of  the Government of the  Republic of Iraq  on measures to  combat
international  terrorism  have   already  been   incorporated  in   document
A/48/267.


Japan

[Original:  English]

  The  Government   of  Japan  would  like   to  comment   on  the  possible
establishment of  a United Nations voluntary  fund for  victims of terrorism
as follows:

  The Government  of  Japan joined  the  consensus  on Commission  on  Human
Rights resolution  1995/43 entitled  "Human rights  and terrorism"  from the
view that no form of terrorism should be permitted.

  However,  concerning  the  possible  establishment  of  a  United  Nations
voluntary fund for  victims of  terrorism, Japan is of  the view that it  is
very difficult to set up administrative regulations of  the fund as well  as
to define its scope,  and that the  fund is regarded largely as a  means for
compensation of damages.

  From the above standpoints,  the fund does  not seem to fully comply  with
the requirements of a fund established  for the protection and  promotion of
human rights.   Therefore, the  Government of Japan  is not  able to support
the  establishment  of  a  United  Nations  voluntary  fund  for  victims of
terrorism.


Lebanon

[Original:  French]

  The Government  of Lebanon supports the  initiative to  establish a United
Nations voluntary  fund for victims of  terrorism, although it  is unable to
financially contribute to it  in view of the  current economic situation  in
the country.

  The Lebanese Government takes this occasion  to specify that a distinction
ought  to be made between  terrorism and the  right to legitimate resistance
to Israeli occupation in southern Lebanon.


Sweden

[Original:  English]

  Sweden strongly supports  the fight against terrorism and the  enhancement
of  international cooperation  against terrorism.   Sweden  would,  however,
like to express its view that a terrorist act is a crime  under the national
criminal  law of  each  country,  and not  a  human rights  violation.    An
exception is,  of course, when terrorist  acts are  commissioned or condoned
by the State.

  Furthermore, Sweden  believes that countries  that are frequently  subject

to  terrorist acts would  be more  efficiently supported by  means of normal
bilateral and  multilateral cooperation than by  creating a  fund within the
United Nations system.

  Syrian Arab Republic

[Original:  Arabic]

  The Syrian Arab  Republic is not  opposed to  the idea  of establishing  a
United Nations voluntary fund for victims of terrorism.  However, it  wishes
to  emphasize the  importance  of distinguishing  between terrorism  and the
struggle of peoples subjected to foreign  occupation or domination and urges
the  international community to  continue to  support the  struggle of those
peoples,  who  are  victims of  terrorism,  and  to  ensure  their  full and
effective enjoyment of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.


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