AD HOC COMMITTEE CONTINUES STALEMATE ON COMPREHENSIVE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM (CCIT)

Código Fecha Clasificación Origen
06USUNNEWYORK432 7 March 2006 No clasificado United States Mission to the United Nations in New York

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DE RUCNDT #0432/01 0661811
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071811Z MAR 06
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8200

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000432

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DOJ FOR OIA - BURROWS, CTS - KASTER AND DOD FOR OSD/GC -
BURGER AND LOURIE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL, PTER, UNGA
SUBJECT: AD HOC COMMITTEE CONTINUES STALEMATE ON
COMPREHENSIVE CONVENTION ON INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM (CCIT)

1. (U) Summary. The Ad Hoc Committee (AHC), established
by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996,
met at UN Headquarters February 27-March 3, 2006 to continue
negotiations on the CCIT. Deep-seated differences over key
text between member States of the Organization of the Islamic
Conference (OIC) and most other delegations precluded any
progress on the long-stalled negotiations. The AHC also gave
further consideration to the Egyptian proposal for a
high-level conference or special session of the UN General
Assembly (UNGA) to formulate a joint organized response to
terrorism. Delegations expressed divergent views along the
lines laid out during the Sixth Committee Working Group
discussions in October 2005. The AHC adopted its final
report on March 3 with a recommendation. End summary.


Draft Comprehensive Convention


2. (U) There was no general debate on the draft CCIT.
Rather, discussions took place in the form of bilateral
contacts between delegations and with the chairman (Perera )
Sri Lanka). In his meeting with the U.S. delegation, Perera
said the Bureau has talked with many delegations that want to
make progress on the text. Most delegations have indicated
support for adding a preamble paragraph on
self-determination, along the lines proposed in October 2005
(copy faxed to IO/UNP). Some delegations (presumably
including hard-core OIC members Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and
Jordan) have said that changes in the preamble would be
agreeable, so long as there are also changes in operative
Article 18 (military exclusion) of the coordinator,s text.

3. (U) To date, no delegation has offered specific
language, but one idea would be to add a new paragraph (5) to
Article 18 that would exclude from the scope of the
convention acts committed during an international armed
conflict that are governed by international humanitarian law
(IHL) and are not unlawful under that law. (Comment: This
idea is a variation of the Liechtenstein proposal submitted
in October 2005 (copy faxed to IO/UNP), but would exclude
only acts committed during an international armed conflict.
This would mean that acts committed by non-State actors
during a non-international armed conflict would be governed
by the CCIT. End comment.) The chairman stressed that he
has discouraged delegations from re-opening paragraphs (2)
("armed forces") and (3) ("military forces of a State") in
the coordinator,s text. Perera said, at this time, he does
not envision putting forward such a proposal on behalf of the
chair, and it would be up to national delegations to make any
such proposal. Some delegations interested in this idea have
made clear that they regard the Palestinian-Israeli conflict
as an "international armed conflict," so that acts committed
during that conflict would benefit from the exclusion that
would be provided by a new paragraph (5).

4. (U) The U.S. delegation reaffirmed its support for the
coordinator,s text, including Article 18, and indicated it
is prepared to continue to work on the draft convention and
would carefully review any new written proposals.

5. (U) U.S. delegation met separately with the Austrian
delegation, which has assumed the European Union (EU)
Presidency from the United Kingdom (UK). The Austrians
affirmed EU support for the coordinator,s text for Article
18, and asked whether there are any new ideas for resolving
the stalemate. They acknowledged the Liechtenstein proposal
has not achieved consensus as a solution. The Austrians
floated a number of ideas, e.g., a new paragraph (5) (some
variation of the Liechtenstein proposal) in Article 18, new
preambular language (along the lines proposed by Egypt for
the Nuclear Terrorism Convention that was withdrawn as part
of the final agreement on that convention), or a new
definition of "armed forces" in Article 1 of the CCIT.
(Comment: The Austrian questions appeared to reflect
continuing unease among some EU countries over the continuing
stalemate, and the perceived need to come up with new
proposals. End comment.) The U.S. delegation reaffirmed its
support for the coordinator,s text for Article 18, noting
the precedents contained in other recent international
counter terrorism instruments. The U.S. delegation again
indicated its willingness to review any new proposal,
provided it is consistent with U.S. substantive interests.

6. (U) In a separate meeting, UK delegation confirmed that
there is continuing unrest among some EU countries, but so
far the UK and France have persuaded their EU colleagues to
hold the line. In an effort to forestall unhelpful proposals
from others in the EU, UK delegation has asked London for
approval to pursue a new proposal that would add a new

definition of "armed forces" in Article 1, based on language
drawn from Article 43(1) of Geneva Protocol I. If London
approves, UK delegation undertook to vet specific language
with the U.S. before going forward.


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Egyptian Proposal for a High-Level Conference


-------------

7. (U) The AHC also gave further consideration to the
Egyptian proposal to convene a high-level conference or
special session of the UNGA to formulate a joint organized
response of the international community to terrorism in all
its forms and manifestations. This item previously was
discussed at length during the Sixth Committee Working Group
meetings in October 2005. Again delegations lined up mostly
as expected, with Egypt supported by OIC countries, North
Korea, Sierra Leone, Cuba and Venezuela. The U.S. and
like-minded delegations (Australia, Austria on behalf of the
EU and associated States, Chile, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland and Ukraine)
argued that consideration of such a conference should be
deferred until work has been completed on the CCIT.
Departing from prior positions, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador
endorsed the Egyptian proposal, although the latter two
hedged their statements by saying efforts should also
continue to conclude the CCIT. Several delegations that
spoke in favor of convening such a conference said it could
produce an internationally agreed "definition" of terrorism
that, in their view, should be distinguished from the
peoples, struggle against foreign occupation and
self-determination. They also see the conference as a forum
for discussion of the "root causes" of terrorism. Egyptian
Perm Rep Abdelaziz expressed "satisfaction" with the
discussion, noting that all seemed to support the idea in
principle, although there are differences over timing and
priorities.


Comments


8. (U) The CCIT negotiations remain at impasse over
deep-seated political issues that divide the OIC member
States from most of the other delegations. The key issues
are (1) the OIC demand to exclude national liberation
movements from the scope of the convention, and (2) the OIC
proposal to limit the availability of the military exclusion
to activities that are in conformity with international law.
(Under the latter proposal, any violation of international
law by State military forces would automatically be equated
with an act of terrorism.) Despite numerous efforts over the
past four years, delegations have been unable to find a
solution to this stalemate. In the coming months, Department
and other agencies may wish to consider ways to shift the
spotlight from the stalled CCIT negotiations onto other more
promising approaches for UN action to combat terrorism.
BOLTON