GENERAL ASSEMBLY, WITH NO DISSENT, ADOPTS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SUPPRESSION OF TERRORIST BOMBINGS

15 December 1997
GA/9382

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, WITH NO DISSENT, ADOPTS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SUPPRESSION OF TERRORIST BOMBINGS

15 December 1997

Press ReleaseGA/9382

GENERAL ASSEMBLY, WITH NO DISSENT, ADOPTS INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SUPPRESSION OF TERRORIST BOMBINGS

19971215 Comprehensive Text Deals with State Obligations, Need For Preventive Cooperation, Questions of Detention, Extradition, Prosecution

The General Assembly this afternoon adopted an International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, and urged all States to become parties to it. It took this action by adopting, without a vote, the recommendations of its Sixth Committee (Legal). The Assembly adopted 15 other texts from the Committee.

In another action, the Assembly agreed to a proposal by its President, Hennadiy Udovenko (Ukraine), that it postpone its date of recess from 16 December to 19 December.

The new Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings will be open for signature from 12 January 1998 to 31 December 1999, and would enter into force 30 days after the date of deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification. In 24 articles, the Convention addresses such elements as definitions, scope, obligation of States parties, and cooperation to prevent actions that would be proscribed by the Convention, as well as the question of detention, extradition or prosecution.

Statements on the draft on the convention were made by the representatives of Iran, Pakistan, Mexico, Syria, Jordan, China, Russian Federation, Turkey, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Libya and the United States.

By a related resolution on measures to eliminate international terrorism, approved without a vote, the Assembly reaffirmed the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee established to consider the topic and decided that it should meet from 16 to 27 February 1998.

By another text embodied in the Sixth Committee reports adopted this afternoon, the Assembly recommended that the United Nations conference of plenipotentiaries to finalize and adopt a convention to establish an international criminal court be held from 15 June to 17 July 1998 in Rome. The Assembly also urged wide participation in the conference by States and asked the Secretary-General to establish a trust fund to help developing

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countries to do so. Non-governmental organizations accredited by the Preparatory Committee of the conference would also be invited.

A statement on the draft resolution was made by the representative of the Netherlands.

By the terms of a draft resolution on the work of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), the Assembly adopted without a vote a Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency. The Assembly recommended that all States review their legislation on cross-border aspects of insolvency to determine whether it met the objectives of a modern and efficient insolvency system.

Under another UNCITRAL draft, the Assembly commended the Commission for the progress made in its work on receivables financing, digital signatures and certification authorities, privately financed infrastructure projects, and legislative implementation of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The Assembly reaffirmed the Commission's mandate, as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law, to coordinate legal activities in that field.

By the terms of a resolution on the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, the Assembly called upon the United States, as the host country, to review measures and procedures relating to the parking of diplomatic vehicles and to resolve the problem in a way that was fair and consistent with international law.

By the text of a resolution on the Convention of Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, adopted without a vote, the Assembly will consider, at its fifty-fourth session, the establishment of a working group to examine the draft articles on the convention, proposed by the International Law Commission at its 1991 session.

The Assembly approved the establishment of a United Nations Audiovisual Library in International Law, to collect and produce audio and video tapes useful for training and teaching international law under another resolution. The draft, on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law was approved without a vote.

The Assembly adopted three drafts without a vote on the United Nations Decade of International Law. By the first, it invited all States and international bodies referred to in the programme of action on the closing of the Decade to provide the Secretary-General with an update or supplement information on activities they had undertaken. By the second draft, on the preparations for the 1999 centennial of the first International Peace Conference, the Assembly welcomed the programme of action presented by the Governments of the Netherlands and the Russian Federation and encouraged them

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to proceed with its implementation. States were also encouraged to participate in the programme activities.

By the third related text, the Assembly underlined the importance of effective negotiations in the management of international relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes and in the creation of new international norms of conduct of States. It took note of a proposal by Mongolia entitled "Guiding principles for international negotiations", and invited views on it from States and relevant international organizations before 1 August 1998.

The Assembly also adopted, without a vote, the recommendations of the Sixth Committee on the report of the International Law Commission. Governments were invited to submit views on the practical problems raised by the succession of States affecting the nationality of legal persons and on other topics considered by the Commission.

A statement on the draft resolution was made by the representative of the United States. The Committee's report on the work of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, contained three draft resolutions which were approved without a vote. By the first, the Special Committee will hold its next session from 26 January to 6 February 1998 to consider all proposals concerning the maintenance of international peace and security. By the second draft, the Assembly will have the Security Council consider establishing further mechanisms or procedures to resolve the special economic problems of third States resulting from the implementation of sanctions.

The third text amended rule 103 of the General Assembly's rules of procedure to allow for three vice-chairmen, instead of two, to be elected. The amendment will take effect at the next session of the Assembly.

The General Assembly also amended article 13 of the statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal to allow its competence to be extended to the staff of the Registry of the International Court of Justice. The amendment would also enable the Tribunal to hear and pass judgement on cases alleging non-observance of the Regulations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. It would extend the Tribunal's competence, with the approval of the General Assembly, to any other international organization or entity established by a treaty and participating in the common system of conditions of service.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly continued its consideration of the situation in Haiti. The representative of Haiti said his people had benefited from the small but effective International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH), which had strengthened institutions that were the basis for human rights. However, progress was fragile and major gaps remained. The national police

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suffered from a lack of institutional development, which diminished its effectiveness and professionalism.

Of the three human rights pillars in Haiti -- the police, the prison system and the judicial system -- the latter required the longest-term efforts and created the most social tension because its structure was the most corroded, he said. The Mission was cooperating with the Ministry of Justice on nearly completed judicial reform, and its support in strengthening institutions was crucial at this time.

Statements were also made by Canada, France, United States and the Dominican Republic.

Programme for Rest of Week

At the outset of the meeting, the President of the Assembly, HENNADIY UDOVENKO (Ukraine), announced the programme of work of the General Assembly for the rest of the week.

On Wednesday, 17 December, in the afternoon, the Assembly will take up agenda item 41 (Assistance in mine clearance).

On the morning of Thursday, 18 December, the Assembly will take up the following items: item 51 (Declaration of the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) on the aerial and naval military attack against the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by the present United States Administration in April 1986); item 52 (Armed Israeli aggression against the Iraqi nuclear installations and its grave consequences for established international system concerning the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and international peace and security); item 53 (Consequences of the Iraqi occupation of and aggression against Kuwait); item 54 (Implementation of the resolutions of the United Nations); item 56 (Launching of global negotiations on international economic cooperation for development); item 55 (Question of the Comorian island of Mayotte; and item 3(b) (Report of the Credentials Committee). In the afternoon of that day, the Assembly would also take up the reports of the Second Committee (Economic and Financial).

On Friday, 19 December, in the afternoon, the Assembly will take up the reports of the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary).

The President pointed out that there were still some agenda items for which no date had been indicated. He would announce the dates for the consideration of those items as soon as they were scheduled and he would keep the Assembly informed of any additions or changes.

The Assembly will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow to consider strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance, including special economic assistance.

Committee Work Programme

The General Assembly met this afternoon to continue its consideration of the situation of human rights and democracy in Haiti, and then to take up the reports of its Sixth Committee (Legal). The reports contain recommendations on a number of topics, including a convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings; a Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency; and the convening of a conference in June 1998 for the establishment of an international criminal court.

Reports

By the text of a draft resolution on the Convention of Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property, contained in document A/52/645, the General Assembly would consider establishing a working group on the topic at its fifty-fourth session to examine the draft articles on the convention, proposed by the International Law Commission at its 1991 session.

The draft articles contain provisions on the concept of a State for purposes of immunity; the criteria for determining the commercial character of a contract or transaction; the concept of a State enterprise or other State entity in relation to commercial transactions; contracts of employment; and measures of restraint against State property. The Sixth Committee approved the draft without a vote on 19 November 1997.

A draft resolution on the United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law, embodied in document A/52/646, recommends that the General Assembly approve the establishment of a United Nations Audiovisual Library in International Law to collect and produce audio and video tapes useful for training and teaching international law. The draft, approved on 19 November without a vote, would also allow the Secretary-General to carry out in 1998 and 1999 other activities specified in his report. Those activities are to be financed from the regular budget, as well as from voluntary contributions earmarked for them.

The Assembly would reiterate its request to Member States and to interested organizations and individuals to make voluntary contributions for the International Law Seminar, the fellowship programme in international law, the Hamilton Shirley Amersinghe Memorial Fellowship on the Law of the Sea and for the United Nations Audiovisual Library. Governments would be urged to contribute to the organization of regional refresher courses in international law organized by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

The Sixth Committee's report on the United Nations Decade of International Law (document A/52/647) contains three draft resolutions, all approved without a vote on 18 November.

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By the terms of the first, on the United Nations Decade of International Law, the General Assembly would invite all States and international bodies referred to in the programme of action on the closing of the Decade to provide to the Secretary-General an update or supplementary information on activities they had undertaken. States would be encouraged to disseminate information on the Decade at the national level and to ratify or accede to the 1986 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between States and International Organizations or between International Organizations.

The second draft text, on action to be taken dedicated to the 1999 centennial of the first International Peace Conference and to the closing of the Law Decade, would have the General Assembly welcome the programme of action presented by the Governments of the Netherlands and the Russian Federation, which aims at contributing to the further development of the themes of the first and second International Peace Conferences and which could be regarded as a third international peace conference. The Assembly would encourage the two Governments to proceed with implementation of the programme, and all States to participate in them, as well as initiate similar activities.

By the third draft, on guiding principles for international negotiations, the General Assembly would underline the importance of effective negotiations in the management of international relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes and in the creation of new international norms of conduct of States. It would have the Assembly take note of the proposal by Mongolia, entitled "Guiding principles for international negotiations", and the comments and proposals made during a debate in the Sixth Committee on the issue. States and relevant international organizations would be invited to submit views on the proposal before 1 August 1998 for consideration by the working group on the United Nations Decade of International Law during the Assembly's next session.

The Committee's recommendations on the report of the International Law Commission (document A/52/648) were embodied in a draft resolution that would have the General Assembly invite governments to submit comments and observations on the practical problems raised by the succession of States affecting the nationality of legal persons in order to assist the Commission in deciding on its future work on that portion of the topic, "Nationality in relation to the succession of States". The draft was approved without a vote, on 19 November.

The draft text would recommend that the Commission continue its work on the topics in its current programme, including diplomatic protection, the unilateral acts of States and the question of nationality in relation to State succession. The Assembly would welcome the decision of the Commission to hold a two-day seminar on 22 and 23 April 1998 in Geneva to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Commission.

Before acting on the draft as a whole, the Committee approved, as a separate show-of-hands vote, by 75 in favour to 1 against, with 9 abstentions,

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two operative paragraphs relating to the proposed split session of the Commission in 1998, and the duration of its future sessions.

The Committee's report on the work of the thirtieth session of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) (document A/52/649) contains two draft resolutions, both approved on 13 November without a vote.

Draft resolution I would have the General Assembly commend the Commission for the progress made in its work on receivables financing, digital signatures and certification authorities, privately financed infrastructure projects and the legislative implementation of the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. It would reaffirm the Commission's mandate as the core legal body within the United Nations system in the field of international trade law, to coordinate legal activities in that field.

The Assembly would also appeal for voluntary contributions to the Commission's trust fund for symposiums and for the financing of special projects and fellowship awards for candidates from developing countries, to enable them to participate in seminars organized by the Secretariat.

Draft resolution II, which contains the text of the United Nations Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency, adopted this year by UNCITRAL, would have the General Assembly recommend that all States review their legislation on cross- border aspects of insolvency to determine whether it met the objectives of a modern and efficient insolvency system. The Secretary-General would be asked to transmit the text of the Model Law, together with the Guide to Enactment of the Model Law, prepared by the Secretariat, to governments and other interested bodies.

By a draft resolution on the Report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country, contained in document A/52/650, the General Assembly would ask that Committee to review its membership and composition and to consider proposals on them. The entire draft on the Host Country Report, as orally amended, was approved by a non-recorded vote of 120 in favour to none against, with 3 abstentions.

By the text of the draft, the Assembly would call upon the United States, as the host country, to review measures and procedures relating to the parking of diplomatic vehicles, and to resolve the parking problem in order to maintain appropriate conditions for the functioning of delegations and missions in a way that was fair, non-discriminatory, efficient and consistent with international law. The Assembly would consider it important that any new parking regulations proposed by the host country for the diplomatic community be worked out in consultation with the Host Country Committee, with due regard being given to diplomatic privileges and immunity.

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The report on the establishment of an international criminal court (document A/52/651) contains a draft resolution by which the General Assembly would recommend that the United Nations conference of plenipotentiaries to finalize and adopt a convention to establish the court be held in Rome from 15 June to 17 July next year. By the text, approved without a vote on 19 November, the Assembly would urge participation in the conference by many States to promote universal support for the court. In the meantime, the Preparatory Committee on the establishment of the court would be asked to continue its work and transmit to the conference the text of a draft convention on the establishment of the court prepared in accordance with its mandate.

The Secretary-General would be asked to establish a trust fund for voluntary contributions towards meeting the cost of participation by developing countries in the work of the conference, and invite representatives of regional intergovernmental organizations and other regional international bodies, including the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to participate as observers. Non-governmental organizations accredited by the Preparatory Committee of the conference would also be invited.

The Committee's report on the work of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/52/652) contained three draft resolutions, all approved without a vote on 21 November.

By the terms of the first, on the report of the Special Committee, the Assembly would decide that the Committee should hold its next session from 26 January to 6 February 1998. The Special Committee would continue its work on the question of the peaceful settlement of disputes between States, enhancing the role of the International Court of Justice, and proposals concerning the Trusteeship Council. The Assembly would invite Member States, States Parties to the Statute of the Court, and the Court itself, if it so desired, to present to the Assembly their comments on the consequences of the increase in the volume of its cases on the operation of the Court.

By the second draft text, on the implementation of Charter provisions on assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions, the Assembly would have the Security Council consider establishing further mechanisms or procedures to resolve the special economic problems of those States. The Assembly would reaffirm the important role of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Committee on Programme and Coordination in mobilizing and monitoring economic assistance efforts by the international community and the United Nations system for the affected States, and in identifying solutions to their special economic problems.

The third draft, on amending the General Assembly's rules of procedure, would have rule 103 amended in order that three vice-chairmen, instead of two, may be elected. The amendment, intended to ensure the representation of all

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regional groups in the bureau of each Main Committee, would take effect from the Assembly's next (fifty-third) session.

Another report of the Committee, on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/52/653), contains two draft resolutions. By the first, approved without a vote on 19 November, the General Assembly would adopt an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and would urge all States to become parties to it. China did not participate in the decision.

The draft convention, annexed to the draft resolution, would be open for signature from 12 January 1998 to 31 December 1999, and would enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of the deposit of the twenty-second instrument of ratification. In 24 articles, the Convention addresses such elements as definitions, scope, obligation of States parties, and cooperation to prevent actions that would be proscribed by the Convention, as well as the question of detention, extradition or prosecution.

The text specifies crimes which are extraditable under treaties which States parties sign among themselves. The draft convention does not govern the military activities of States in armed conflict or in exercise of their official duties. It defines a terrorist bomber as a person who unlawfully and intentionally delivers, places, discharges or detonates a bomb, explosive, lethal or incendiary device in, into or against a place of public use, a State or government facility, a public transportation system or an infrastructure facility, with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or the destruction of such a place resulting in major economic loss.

The draft convention would have States parties take steps to establish their jurisdiction over terrorist bombings committed in their territories. They could also have jurisdiction when the offences are committed against their nationals or facilities abroad, including their embassies or other diplomatic or consular premises.

By the second draft text on measures against international terrorism, approved by the Committee on 21 November, also without a vote, the Assembly would reaffirm the mandate of the Ad Hoc Committee it established to consider the question, and decide that it should meet from 16 to 27 February 1998 to continue its work on the elaboration of an international convention for the suppression of nuclear terrorism. The Ad Hoc Committee would hold further meetings, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be asked to assist the Committee in its deliberations.

Also by the draft, the Assembly would strongly condemn all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed. It would reiterate that criminal acts intended to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or

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particular persons for political purposes were unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that might be invoked to justify them.

The Assembly would call upon all States to implement specific measures, including consultations on improving the capability of governments to deal with terrorist attacks, research and development on the detection of explosives and other harmful substances, and measures to counter the financing of terrorists and terrorist organizations. They would also be urged to consider, as a matter of priority, becoming parties to relevant instruments dealing with terrorism and to enact domestic legislation to implement those conventions and protocols.

The final report of the Sixth Committee (document A/52/654) contains a draft resolution by which the General Assembly would amend article 13 of the statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal to allow its competence to be extended to the staff of the Registry of the International Court of Justice.

By that text, approved without a vote on 14 November, the Tribunal would be enabled to hear and pass judgement on cases alleging non-observance of the Regulations of the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. The draft would extend the Tribunal's competence, with the approval of the General Assembly, to any other international organization or entity established by a treaty and participating in the common system of conditions of service. Under its statute, the Tribunal is competent to hear and pass judgement upon applications alleging non-observance of contracts of employment or terms of appointment of staff members of the United Nations Secretariat. Its competence may also be extended to specialized agencies.

Action on Reports of Sixth Committee

The reports of the Sixth Committee were introduced by its Rapporteur, Ghassan Obeid (Syria).

In its first action, the Assembly adopted, without a vote, the draft resolution, on the Convention of Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property contained in the Committee's report (document A/52/645).

The draft resolution, on United Nations Programme of Assistance in the Teaching, Study, Dissemination and Wider Appreciation of International Law contained in the Committee's report (document A/52/646), was adopted without a vote. The Assembly then took up the Committee's report, on the United Nations Decade of International Law (document A/52/647), containing three draft resolutions.

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Draft resolution I, on the United Nations Decade of International Law, was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II, on action to be taken dedicated to the 1999 centennial of the first International Peace Conference and to the closing of the United Nations Decade of International Law, was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution III, on "Draft guiding principles for international negotiations", was also adopted without a vote.

Next the Assembly took up the Report of the International Law Commission on the work of its forty-ninth session (document A/52/648).

Before action was taken, a representative of the Secretariat said that the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) had decided that should the General Assembly adopt the draft resolution as recommended by the Sixth Committee in its report, an additional appropriation of $245,200 under Section 6, Legal Affairs, of the proposed programme budget for the biennium 1998-1999 would be required. That would be subject to the guidelines for the use and operation of the contingency fund adopted by the Assembly in its resolution 42/211 of 21 December 1987.

The Assembly then adopted the text without a vote.

Speaking after the vote, JACK J. SPITZER, (United States) said his delegation strongly supported the International Law Commission and appreciated its efforts to improve its effectiveness and efficiency. His delegation was concerned, however, that the arrangements proposed by the Commission for its 1998 and 1999 sessions would have budgetary implications. His delegation recognized that the Commission considered the arrangements for its 1998 session to be necessary to accommodate an important codification conference. Nevertheless, the financial implications of that arrangement made it unacceptable. Similarly, it was the view of his delegation that the 1999 session should be of 10 weeks duration as was foreseen in the current budget. In view of his delegation's support for the Commission and its work, he would not object to adoption of that resolution without a vote.

Next, the Assembly took up the Committee's report on the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) on the work of its thirtieth session (document A/52/649) containing two draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I, on the report of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law on the work of its thirtieth session, was adopted without a vote.

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Draft resolution II, on Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, was also adopted without a vote. The text of the Model Law is annexed to the draft resolution. The Assembly took up the Committee's report on the work of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country (document A/52/650).

The Assembly adopted a draft resolution on the report of the Committee on Relations with the Host Country without a vote.

The Assembly next took up the Committee's report on the establishment of an international criminal court (document A/52/651), adopting the draft resolution on it, without a vote.

H. G. J. VERWEIJ (Netherlands), speaking after action on the draft said that his Government had contributed $100,000 to the Trust Fund to enable developing countries to participate in the work of the Preparatory Conference and in the diplomatic conference of plenipotentiaries in Rome. It had decided to contribute $50,000 to the new Trust Fund established by the Secretary- General for the participation of the least developed countries in the work of the Preparatory Committee and in the conference.

Next, the Assembly took up the Committee's report on the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and Strengthening of the Role of the Organization (document A/52/652) which contained three draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I, on the report of the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, was adopted without a vote.

Draft resolution II, on the implementation of the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations related to assistance to third States affected by the application of sanctions, adopted without a voted.

Draft resolution III, on amendment to rule 103 of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly, was also adopted without a vote.

The Assembly next took up the Committee's report, on measures to eliminate international terrorism (document A/52/653), containing two draft resolutions.

Draft resolution I, is entitled "International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings".

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SAEID MIRZAEE (Iran), speaking before action on Draft resolution I, registered his delegation's reservation on paragraph 2 of article 19 of the draft Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. (That paragraph reads as follows: "The activities of armed forces during an armed conflict, as those terms are understood under international humanitarian law, which are governed by that law, are not governed by this Convention, and the activities undertaken by military forces of a State in the exercise of their official duties, inasmuch as they are governed by other rules of international law, are not governed by this Convention".)

He said the paragraph was an unprecedented one and was not included in any of the existing instruments relating to combating terrorism. He said the phrase "in the exercise of their official duties" contained in that paragraph was vague and had not been defined in the draft or in any other relevant international instrument. It thus left room for a broader interpretation of the immunities of military forces provided for in general international law.

He said his delegation felt it was imprudent to include such an imprecise and politically compromised term in the draft convention which was assumed to be the basis for prosecution and punishment of culprits of such criminal acts. Labelling the activities of the military forces of States as "official duties" could not and should not be justified in any circumstances if such activities ran counter to the accepted norms and principles of international law.

ANWAR KAMAL (Pakistan) said the Convention of the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings had serious gaps in the preamble and in other areas. It did not include references to a comprehensive understanding of the issue of terrorism. It did not pay attention to situations involving colonialism and the massive and flagrant violations of human rights nor did it attend to those situations involving alien occupations that might give rise to terrorism. The Convention did not reflect the essential distinction between terrorism and the legitimate struggle of peoples for self-determination.

He said the Convention granted exception to the activities of military forces from the scope of its application. The articles of the Convention, despite some revisions, still did not reflect views based on the consensus language of International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages. Based on that precedent, the Convention should have excluded from its application the situations of armed conflicts in which people were fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination.

He said that article 19.2, in its present formulation, sanctified State terrorism. That was the most ignoble form of terrorism. The Non-Aligned Movement, at its Summit meeting held in Jakarta in 1992, condemned the use of State power for the suppression of civilians struggling against foreign

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occupation. It also denounced the brutalization of peoples kept under foreign occupation. His delegation believed that terrorist activities of the military forces of the State could not be excluded from the scope of that Convention. Under the Convention, any type of activity by the armed forces were immune from the application of that Convention even if such activity amounted to terrorism.

He said the requirement of 22 ratifications for the entry of the Convention into force was highly inappropriate for an Organization of 185 Members. The figure of 22, was suitable only for a subregional organization; the number of ratifications should have been fixed at one third of the total membership of the United Nations.

With those comments in mind, he went on, his delegation entered reservations on the following articles: article 2, Para 1; the set of articles relating to the exception given to the activities of military forces in article 19.2, 1.4 and the last preambular paragraph; article 9, Paras 1 and 5; article 11 and article 22.1. Despite those objections, he said, Pakistan remained committed to elimination of the evil of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It had decided to join the consensus on that Convention, subject to the reservations he had stated.

SOCORRO FLORES (Mexico) said negotiations on the draft convention had been complex. Mexico would have preferred a broader scope for the convention because of the magnitude of the problem of international terrorism. With respect to article 11 of the draft Convention which covered extradition, Mexico took the view that offenses inspired by political motives should be dealt with in accordance with domestic legislation.

GHASSAN OBEID (Syria) said he had joined the consensus on draft resolution I because his country was keen to help in the combat of international terrorism which it condemned in all its forms and manifestations. There was need for a clear definition of international terrorism. There should be a clear distinction between terrorism and the struggle of peoples under foreign occupation for self-determination. Member States should attempt to eradicate State terrorism carried out against peoples under foreign occupation. Syria had suffered such terrorism.

Speaking on draft resolution II, on measures against unintentional terrorism, he said there had not been enough time to discuss the draft convention during the negotiations. It therefore had shortcomings. He expressed astonishment about the absence of a clear definition of terrorism. He said Syria had, nevertheless, joined in the consensus because of its support for the elaboration of instruments to combat terrorism. There should have been a clear distinction between terrorism which could be subject to

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domestic laws and the legitimate actions of people under foreign occupation. There should be no selectivity in future in the elaboration of legal instruments.

SALAH SUHEIMAT (Jordan) said his country reiterated its condemnation of terrorism in all its forms. However, his delegation objected to article 19.2 and other articles that may be interpreted as keeping the Convention from applying to the acts of military forces of States because those acts were covered by other conventions.

FENG GAO (China) said his country was against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and was also against its use for political purposes. China was also against state terrorism. It had acceded to all international instruments on the subject and had participated actively in negotiations on such instruments. He said there had not been full consultations on some controversial provisions of the draft convention, and many delegations had consequently not accepted them. He said China was not participating in action on the draft.

Draft resolution I, on an International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, was adopted without a vote. The text of the Convention is annexed to the resolution.

Draft resolution II, on measures to eliminate international terrorism, was also adopted without a vote.

SERGEI KAREV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had concerns about provisions of the Convention dealing with extradition and mutual legal assistance, especially article 12. That article should not be interpreted as exempting some accused from extradition or prosecution. The Convention was based on the principle of prosecute or extradite. A person accused of a crime could not avoid prosecution or extradition nor could States avoid cooperation one way or another in that provision.

YESIM BAYKAL (Turkey) said the Convention was important because it recognized terrorist bombings as crimes. However, his delegation believed the scope of the Convention had a serious shortcoming because it failed to recognize those bombings that were for the sole purpose of provoking terror. The extradition provisions also raised concerns because they could be interpreted in such a way that the offenders of those crimes would not be tried and punished. Also, while article 19 clearly established that the Convention did not cover activities of armed forces of a State, it should not be interpreted as giving military forces the ability to ignore international law and other conventions applying to them.

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HICHAM HAMDAN (Lebanon) said his delegation agreed with the adoption of the Convention and reaffirmed its condemnation of all terrorist acts. However, international efforts should not lead to partiality or injustice. Also, the establishment of the Convention must be accompanied by efforts to understand the underlying causes of terrorism in order to combat them. His delegation also objected to the Convention not applying to the acts of resistance to foreign occupation. Lebanon maintained that its resistance to Israeli occupation of its territory was not terrorism. On article 19, it should not be interpreted that the actions of armed forces were not subject to international laws and custom regarding military behaviour. No provision of the Convention justified terrorist acts by any State.

CHRISTIAN WENAWESER (Liechtenstein) said that all measures to combat terrorism have to be in full accordance with human rights standards. On article 19, he said it was acceptable because it did not grant an overall exception of military forces from the scope and application of the Convention nor did it exempt them from the rule of international law.

FELICITY WONG (New Zealand) said the partial exemption of military forces from the scope of the Convention did not grant them the ability to violate international law or other conventions. Members of military forces may still be held individually responsible for their actions. The exclusion of certain actions of the State did not preclude members of forces from legal jurisdiction to the extent that those activities were governed by other laws.

ABDUSSALAM SERGIWA (Libya) said his delegation's position was based on the firm position that Libya condemned international terrorism in all its forms. However, his delegation believed the Convention did not effect in any way the rights of peoples under occupation to take the necessary and legitimate steps to achieve independence in accordance with the rules of international law. In respect to certain acts of the armed forces, the Convention should not be interpreted in such a way to justify illegal acts of States. It also should not give any legitimacy to terrorism by States. The text of the Convention still suffered from many legal gaps because there was not enough time to solve all the problems such as the lack of an adequate definition for terrorist bombings.

Mr. SPITZER (United States) said his delegation was pleased with the Convention and it represented a major achievement of the fifty-second session of the General Assembly. This new legal instrument would be an important addition to the legal framework for combating terrorism. The Convention advanced extradition law and it disallowed the "political offence" position that tended to exempt some accused from being prosecuted.

Finally, the Assembly took up the Committee's report on amendment to article 13 of the Statute of the United Nations Administrative Tribunal (document A/52/654), adopting a draft resolution on it without a vote.

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The Assembly thus concluded action on the reports of the Sixth Committee.

Situation in Haiti

FERNANDO PETRELLA (Argentina) said the following countries had become sponsors of resolution A/52/L.65 on the situation in Haiti: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

PIERRE LELONG (Haiti) said the Haitian people has benefited from the international community's assistance, especially the small but effective International Civilian Mission to Haiti (MICIVIH), which had strengthened institutions that were the basis for human rights. However, the progress was fragile and major gaps remained to be filled. The National Police Force must deal with a rise in crime. Acts of stupefying cruelty had been attributed in large part to Haitian convicts repatriated from North America. Drug trafficking and use contributed to the situation. The national police had disbanded several armed gangs and rings of criminals, but its lack of institutional development diminished its effectiveness and professionalism.

Of the three human rights pillars in Haiti -- the police, the prison system and the judicial system -- the judicial system required the longest- term efforts and created the most social tension because its structure was the most corroded, he said. The MICIVIH was cooperating with the Ministry of Justice on reform of the judicial system, which was nearing completion. The Officer of the Protector of the Citizen opened in Port-au-Prince on 4 November. The personnel recruited had undergone extensive training with the participation of high-level figures in Haiti and Canada. Some key mechanisms and institutions for the promotion of human rights were still being created, or had yet to be put in place. The Haitian Government considered the support of the MICIVIH crucial during this period, when institutions were being strengthened. In agreement with experts from international institutions, a mandate ending 31 December 1998 had been established. The establishment of the rule of law guaranteed a climate of peace, tolerance and freedom conducive to the consolidation of democracy and sustainable development. Haiti hoped the resolution would be adopted without a vote.

MICHEL DUVAL (Canada) said that through all the significant changes in Haiti over the past three years, MICIVIH had maintained a steady presence, working innovatively to assist the Haitian authorities and people in striving towards a just and prosperous society. His country was pleased that the resolution before the Assembly proposed a renewal of MICIVIH's mandate until 31 December 1998 and welcomed the Secretary-General's recommendation that the Mission focus on institutional consolidation and local capacity-building. He said the slow progress in judicial reform was of great concern to his Government. As noted by the Secretary-General, there had been a few positive

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initiatives and "piecemeal signs of progress, mainly at the local level", but much more needed to be done. Salaries of judges lagged far behind those of their colleagues in the police force, and there was a high rate of illiteracy among them. Prolonged pre-trial detention, without charges being laid, was widespread. Under pressure to redress that problem, judges were releasing some suspects without further investigations. All of those difficulties had a corrosive effect on developing respect for the rule of the law.

He said the link between the need for judicial reform and respect for human rights merited particular attention. As the progress made by the Haitian National Police had gained in momentum, the justice system had lagged even farther behind. That had created a new, additional challenge to a young and inexperienced police force. Canada, he went on, could not over-emphasize the importance of Haiti's Government undertaking continued and strengthened efforts in the domain of judicial reform. It would be essential for the Haitian political community to overcome the stalemate which had gripped the country for the better part of the year. The negative impact of the paralysis in the day-to-day business of the Government was evident. However, longer- term administrative, judicial, social and economic reform efforts must also be maintained. Any progress in the political, judicial or security areas hinged on sustainable economic development in Haiti. Canada attached particular importance in assisting Haiti in redressing the damage its economy had suffered, and in using its natural resources in the most efficient manner.

PHILIPPE THIEBAUD (France) said the United Nations played an essential role in the democratic transition in Haiti. Real progress on human rights and basic freedoms had been made, including the creation of a police force with respect for human rights. The United Nations must continue providing assistance in that context. The MICIVIH made a major contribution, especially in strengthening institutions and human rights education.

The Civilian Mission also played an important role in professionalizing the national police, he said. It played that role in addition to the United Nations Transition Mission in Haiti, which was succeeded by the Civilian Police Mission instituted in November by the Security Council. France, which co-sponsored the draft resolution and would continue assisting Haiti in establishing a state of law, hoped the draft would receive the Assembly's unanimous support.

SHIRLEY ROBINSON HALL (United States) said her country supported the recommendations in the Secretary-General's report on the situation in Haiti, and agreed that the mandate of the United Nations portion of MICIVIH should be extended through the end of 1998. The Mission had worked alone to promote better observance of human rights and the continued development of democracy in Haiti since 1993, and in conjunction with the United Nations Transition Mission. The MICIVIH had also played a key role in fostering democratic institutions throughout Haiti. It provided reporting, technical assistance,

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training and expert recommendations that would enhance the effectiveness of the Haitian National Police, the National Penal Administration and the wider justice system.

She said the United States had supported MICIVIH's efforts since its inception. Through assessed and voluntary contributions to the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations, her Government was the largest single contributor to the Civilian Mission. America was proud again to support the joint efforts of the Organization and the OAS in building a more democratic and just Haiti.

CRISTINA AGUIAR (Dominican Republic) said her country, as a neighbour, was very interested in the political situation and democratic stability of Haiti. It welcomed the return to constitutional order and the process of restoration of the State currently taking place. Likewise, she appreciated efforts of the Government of Haiti to guarantee human rights. However, much remained to be done. The restoration of democracy in Haiti was a responsibility that should be undertaken by the entire international community. The existing Haitian authorities had demonstrated their commitment to justice and democracy, in pledging to restore the trust in participation of civil society.

The Dominican Republic, mindful of the situation, had approached bilateral relations with Haiti to foster a base of true cooperation between both nations, she said. They had joint committees in the areas of trade, agriculture and health, among others. Her country understood that the efforts of United Nations Member States to maintain peace and security in Haiti would be insufficient if they were not accompanied by resources aimed at alleviating the grave economic and social problems affecting the country. She said the international community, in addition to maintaining the United Nations presence in Haiti, should fulfil its 1994 cooperation commitments for Haiti's economic recovery.

The Vice-President of the Assembly, MWAMBA KAPANGA (Democratic Republic of the Congo), announced that, in order to review budget implications of the draft resolution, action on it would be taken at a later date.

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For information media. Not an official record.