UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION IN THE FACE OF NEW CHALLENGES
Prof. h.c.Rafal Marcin Wasik, Secretary General International Human Rights Commission - IHRC.
This is the chapter I wrote for the scientific edition of "New Economy System 3.0, Sustainable Macroeconomics with Green Rendite" (Platzer - Rothschild)
In this article, based on the analysis of a number of international legal documents, opinions of researchers who have approached the issue under consideration, an attempt to identify the origins of terrorism both as a phenomenon of international life and as a criminal act is being made. Along with this, the adopted by the international community of states documents designed to minimize the negative consequences of terrorism, are being commented more than ordinarily.
Key words and expressions: national liberation war, international terrorism, mass media (media), international conventions on terrorism, macroeconomic processes.
Nowadays, the issue of international terrorism not only is in the headlines of broadcast media, but every day it gets more and more publicity. Explosions are all over Europe and the Middle East, diplomats and public figures are shot. Not surprisingly, the issue is in the focus of researchers, i.e. lawyers, political analysts, psychologists, etc. Every year it is the topic of international conferences of various levels.
The issue is a constant source for plots in theater and cinema works, and this significantly contributes to the glorification of terrorists in the eyes of a part of the population.
On the other hand, terrorism becomes a “chiller-diller”, by which the authorities intimidate the “having gone mad of horror” layman, restricting one’s rights and freedoms, increasingly clamping down and issuing antidemocratic laws. In addition, terrorism serves as a verified political argument in favor of the unchecked arms race1.
All this does not bring humanity closer to solving the current issue. On the contrary, all this only distances it from such a solution. And no wonder that the “recognized specialists” in this area and different “experts” are talking, for the most part, about effective ways of fighting this evil, but not about eliminating the causes that generate it.
As for the permanent sadomasochistic discussion by the media of the details about the consequences and victims of a terrorist act, it seems that their desire to thrive on this issue, to derive maximum benefit from “sub-truths”, apocalyptic forecasts and ill-considered versions, is much stronger than the desire to eliminate such phenomena from the life of the society. The fees of the reporters and the circulation of publications that cover terrorist attacks grow like mushrooms after a spring rain. And the heartbreaking scenes broadcast from the venues are interspersed with the advertisement of women’s pads. All this, involuntarily, makes terrorism an everyday, ordinary phenomenon.
However, it has not always been so. The states that have formed the United Nations Organization in order to maintain peace and security could not have imagined that they would face such a threat. But, that is not to say that they did not realize international terrorism is the greatest evil that strikes at such fundamental values reflected in the UN Charter as respect for human rights, rule of law in resolving disputes, abidance by the rules of warfare and other.
1 – Recent military training exercises involving the most modern weapons, Navy, Air and Space and other forces, are held, allegedly, not to prepare for aggressive wars or to repel aggression, but to work out methods of “combating terrorism”.
The public danger of terrorism for the whole system of international relations and the world’s law and order was also fully realized by the predecessor of the UN - the League of Nations, which on November 16, 1937, adopted the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Acts of Terrorism. In accordance with this convention, the Member States of the League of Nations committed to the obligation to back off from any action aimed at facilitating terrorist activities directed against another state and to prevent the actions in which this activity is done.
The Member States also undertook to prevent and suppress the following types of criminal activities directed against state and aimed at or capable to terrorize certain individuals, groups of individuals, which within the meaning of the Convention are terrorist acts:
- deliberate acts directed against life, physical integrity, health and freedom;
- leaders of states, persons enjoying the prerogatives of the state, their inherited or appointed successors;
- spouses of the above-mentioned people;
- people vested with public functions or duties, when the specified actions are related to the performance of functions or duties of these people;
- deliberate actions that include destruction or damaging the public property intended for public use, belonging to another Member State or being under its jurisdiction;
- deliberate actions capable to compromise human lives by creating public danger; - an attempt to commit violations stipulated in the provisions of the Convention.
The fact of manufacturing, obtaining, storing, and supplying weapons, explosive or harmful substances in order to execute in any country a violation provided for in criminal order, is also acknowledged as criminal2.
Despite the fact that a number of progressive provisions have been developed in this Convention, in particular, the nature of the terrorist act is defined as an international act in virtue of the object of the attack; the functional basis for providing, to appropriate persons, protection against the crimes stipulated in the Convention is emphasized; the principle of the inevitability of punishment is ensured; the need for cooperation of States in connection with the application of the Convention is pointed out; the guarantee of implementation of its provisions through the adoption of relevant legislation acts at the national level is set, the Convention could not become universal due to the right to colonial clause contained in it3.
However, for the first time this Convention has codified the important sphere of regulatory impact of international law on the cooperation of states in the field of fighting against terror.
The development of a multifaceted topic of countering international terrorism was intensified by the United Nations and other international organizations in the 1970s and 1990s of the past century, when 19, in total, international conventions of universal and regional level were developed and adopted.
2 - See more: M.A. Sarkisyan. Conceptual Vision of International Terrorism // Bulletin of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia. A series of legal sciences. - M., 2003, - No. 1 P. 49.
3 - Colonial clause means that the Member States of the Convention, at the time of signing, ratifying or joining it, could claim that it does not apply to colonies, mandated and other dependent territories.
In particular, within the framework of the UN, the following were adopted:
- The Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, 1963;
- Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, 1970;
- Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, 1971;
- Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, 1973;
- International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, 1979;
- Convention on the Physical Protection of Material, 1980;
- Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of the Sea State, 1988;
- International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries, 1989; - Convention on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel, 1994;
- International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, 1997;
- International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Organized Crime, 2000.
Thus, the UN is quite active in codifying norms regulating the issues of fighting against various types of terrorism, which initiated why Al-Qaeda in its public statements indicated the UN as a major obstacle to its goals and called the UN one of its enemies4.
The UN has demonstrated special activity in developing mechanisms of international legal regulation in the area of fighting against violent extremism after terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. The UN General Assembly considered the issue of these tragic events the next day after the attack and unanimously adopted a resolution calling on all states to international cooperation with the aim of preventing and eradicating the acts of terrorism, as well as bringing the perpetrators, organizers, and sponsors of violence to justice5.
The same day, the UN Security Council, in its resolution No. 1368 (2001), called upon the international community to redouble the efforts to prevent and suppress the terrorist acts, including by expanding the cooperation and ensuring full implementation of relevant anti-terrorist conventions and resolutions of the Security Council dedicated to the combating terror.
The most important event in the antiterrorist cooperation of the states was the resumption of the activity of the Special Committee established in accordance with the UN General Assembly resolution dated December 17, 1996, aiming at elaborating a comprehensive convention on international terrorism.
This convention was plainly required, since all existing conventions were drawn up according to a single scheme and varied only by types of terrorism, and any new types of terrorism (cyber-terrorism, information terrorism, nuclear terrorism, etc.) “fell outside” the provisions of the above conventions.
4 See: UN Doc. A/59/565, P. 56.
5 See: Res. 56/1 adopted by the UN General Assembly on October 12, 2001, clauses 3 and 4.
The Working Group of the Sixth UN Committee held its meetings from October 15 till October 26, 2001, and although it came close to reaching agreement on the draft of the comprehensive convention, it was not able to complete the work on several not coordinated articles that dealt with politically sensitive issues. As a result, the Special Committee, while continue working on the draft of the comprehensive convention, notwithstanding some features of progress, could not reconcile the remaining divergences in the delegation’s positions6.
The definition of international terrorism is one of these discrepancies.
Such a complex social offense as terrorism unambiguously goes behind the qualification forms elaborated by the law for being accepted by the current international law in general and criminal law, in particular.
Moreover, international law is now undergoing a correction of its accents, which is related to new historical realities and tendencies to change the existing world order7.
Attempts to confront terrorism are complicated by a global trend of reducing the level of control in society, opening of borders and the expansion of relations, and this is accompanied by a massive migration of people, funds, goods, information, and services.
This scenario creates rather complicated problems for legislators and politicians and raises the issue of how, in these new conditions, to employ the national laws, international agreements and other mechanisms in the fight against this planetary evil in the most effective way8.
Nevertheless, the activity of the UN and its bodies on the path to countering international terrorism is not weakening.
Through the work of the said Special Committee, on September 28, 2001, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution No. 1313 on fighting against international terrorism9. This document provides for a wide range of specific measures at the national, regional, and international levels aimed at counterterrorism efforts. Among them, the following measures are of particular importance:
- prohibition on financing terrorist activities;
- announcing as criminal any activity related with the collection of funds on the territory of any state with the purpose of supporting terrorism;
- the requirement to states to put an end to all activities regarding the recruitment of terrorists and supplying them with weapons;
- strengthening border controls measures for suppressing the illegal penetration of terrorists;
- all states’ quickest joining to the existing UN international conventions on combating terrorism and their full implementation;
- information exchange and cooperation between all states on the issues of coordinating the fight against terrorism.
6 See: Kovalev V.S. Features of the Manifestation of Terrorism at the Beginning of This Century // Arguments. 2014, No 4. P. 130
7 See: Kovalev V.S. Decree. Com. In the same place.
8 See: Kovalev V.S. Decree. Com. P. 131.
9 See: Res. 1373 of the UN Security Council on Combating International Terrorism // Diplomatic Bulletin, - 2001, ‒ No 10. ‒ P. 88.
In this resolution, the United Nations Security Council enacted to establish a Security Council Committee composed of all its members to monitor the implementation of Resolution No. 1373 (2001) involving relevant experts, and called upon all the states to report to the Committee, within 90 days, on the steps taken to effectuate this resolution.
The Security Council Committee on Combating Terrorism was established in October 2001. The same month, it has prepared a program of its work, as well as guidelines on reporting in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Resolution No. 1373. By the end of May of the next year, 160 UN member states submitted their reports to the Committee. the European Union joined them10.
Practical measures on countering terrorism were also stipulated in the Declaration on Combating Terrorism adopted by Resolution No. 1456 of UN Security Council dated January 20, 2002. These measures are mainly focused on acts of terrorism and organizers of terrorist acts.
Judging all acts of terrorism, irrespective of their motivations, venue and perpetrators, the UN Security Council on September 14, 2005, adopted Resolution No. 1624 (2005) on the prevention of incitement to terrorism. In this document, the draft of which has been presented by the United Kingdom, the Security Council calls on the UN member states to legislatively prohibit incitement to terrorism, to take all necessary measures to counter extremist ideologies and refuse to grant asylum to those who incite terrorism11.
Summing up the consideration of the issue of activities of the United Nations in the field of fighting against the international terrorism, the following conclusions can be made:
1. The most effective cooperation of states in the fight against international terrorism is carried out within the framework of the United Nations.
2. International legal acts and resolutions adopted by the UN on fighting against the international terrorism, first, differentiate the territorial activities of natural persons from the policy of terror carried out by states. Secondly, they introduce the “turn over or judge” principle, which provides for the inevitability of punishment for terrorism. These acts ensured, in particular, international law protection to airplane crews, persons in respect of whom states should guarantee special protection due to the functions assigned to them.
3. Thus, thanks to the UN activities, its main bodies and specialized agencies, a number of regulations aimed at combating terrorism have been developed. And these regulations are the legal basis for the actions of the international community and individual states in the area that is discussed.
10 See: Doc. Of the UN. S/2001/1297 dated December 28, 2002
11 And we hosted A. Öcalan, who was declared an international terrorist, at the highest level.
Thank you Friends Dr.Peter Platzer and Lord M.H.Rothschild for delivering for me our joint scientific work
New Economy System 3.0 , Sustainable Macroeconomics with Green Rendite (Platzer - Rothschild)
It was a great honor for me to write one of the chapters of this work.
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