Commentary and Newsletters

Anne Bayefsky

UN Terrorism Talks End in Failure

Friday, February 16, 2007

On Thursday February 15, 2007 the UN concluded its eleventh session of the Ad Hoc Committee set up to negotiate a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It ended by agreeing to meet again - 8 months from now. Rather than fulfilling the promise of September 2005's "Reform" Summit of world leaders to define terrorism and finalize this treaty, stalemate was the result of two weeks of negotiations and the free spending of your taxpayer dollars.

Why the impasse? Cutting through the verbiage, there are many states at the UN that think it's acceptable to kill civilians - especially Jewish and American ones - and there are many other states that refuse to stand up to the thugs.

As far as actually addressing terrorism, the summary of this week's discussions included:

    "Some...delegations emphasized the importance of including...a legal definition of terrorism to distinguish it from the legitimate struggle of peoples for self-determination. In addition, some other delegations expressed the view that State terorrism would have to be included in any comprehensive convention on international terrorism. It was reiterated that acts of State terrorism were of serious concern to the international community and that such acts only contributed to a vicious cycle of terrorism."

And so the UN continues labeling victims as perpetrators and provides an aura of legitimacy to terrorism. The Sri Lankan Chairman of the Committee, Rohan Perera, reassured the Pakistani delegate that all proposals for completing the draft convention on terrorism were still on the table - including the proposal of the Organization of the Islamic Conference which includes an exemption for terrorists who are supposedly committed to fighting "foreign occupation". A justification for murder driven in reality by anti-semitism, intolerance and a thirst for violence itself.

How did the UN describe this state of affairs? The Chairman was "encouraged" by this "momentum." UN-speak for describing a world organization totally unable to condemn the killing of innocents regardless of race, ethnic origin or religion. And totally contrary to its raison d'Ítre.