|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Ad Hoc Committee on Assembly
50th Meeting (AM)
Although Comprehensive Anti-Terrorism Convention Still Eludes Agreement,
Ad Hoc Committee Chair says Willingness to Work Offers Hope
As Session Concludes, Delegates Urged to Consider
If Outstanding Issues Preventing Completion of Draft Treaty Are ‘Insurmountable’
Although agreement on a counter-terrorism convention still eluded delegates, their decision to meet again and continue discussions on outstanding issues offered hope for the future, said the Chair of the General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on the issue today as he closed its week-long sixteenth session.
Members of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 called on the Sixth Committee (Legal) to establish a working group to contribute to negotiations during its sixty-ninth session and to discuss the convening of a high-level conference on the subject, under United Nations auspices. They also adopted a report describing the work done during the current session.
The week-long session, said Chair Rohan Perera of Sri Lanka, had offered delegates an “opportunity to renew our engagement with the outstanding issues surrounding the draft convention and in relation to the high-level conference”. He urged delegates to consider whether the issues at stake were “so insurmountable that it can take us all these years without reaching any agreement”.
Optimistic about prospects in the future, Mr. Perera said he looked forward to delegates meeting again in the context of the working group, “reinvigorated to make a difference” and prepared to “give concrete meaning to the sentiment” expressed during the “arduous process” that it was of great importance to conclude a comprehensive convention on counter-terrorism.
He stressed the significant role played by the Ad Hoc Committee since its establishment in 1997, pointing to the adoption of International Conventions for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, the Acts of Nuclear Terrorism and the Financing of Terrorism, which, he said, formed the “new generation” of counter-terrorism conventions.
The Committee’s draft report on the current session was introduced by Rapporteur Petr Válek of the Czech Republic, following which the Chair led the Committee through a paragraph-by-paragraph adoption of the report, which contained the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee, as well as a description of the discussions of the session.
While considering the report’s three annexes, the delegate of France pointed out some discrepancies in the French translation of annex II of the report, and called for changes to two of its footnotes and saying that it was “regrettable” that the Bureau’s proposal contained the text of draft resolution A/C.6/66/SR.28. She said she was unhappy with considering that text as a proposal concerning the draft Convention, asking how such a situation could even be possible.
The delegates of Cuba and Egypt, speaking for the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation, agreed with the proposal of France’s representative, and called for the draft resolution’s deletion from annex II, stating that it was premature to consider the draft resolution until the text of the draft Convention had been drawn up.
Accepting changes to the footnotes, the representative of Guatemala, however, expressed hope that the Bureau’s proposal could still be incorporated somehow into the report’s text in order to ensure that States’ capitals would have a complete overview of what was discussed during the current session. She was flexible as to where it would be placed, but could not agree with deletion.
Following a brief suspension, delegates agreed to remove the draft resolution from annex II and to place it in the Chair’s informal summary of the discussions and consultations held during the session, which was contained in annex III. Reference would be made to the exchange of views on the subject and the belief expressed that the outstanding issues relating to the Convention were of a legally substantive nature and could not be resolved through an accompanying resolution. With that agreed upon, the Ad Hoc Committee appended the annexes to the report and adopted the report by consensus.
Iraq’s delegate thanked the Chair for preparation of the report, asking for a correction to be made to the name of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation.
The Ad Hoc Committee will meet again at a time and place to be announced.
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