Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996 Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism Statement of the United States of America Mark A. Simonoff, Acting Legal Adviser

Mark A. Simonoff, Acting Legal Adviser
New York, NY
April 11, 2011


The United States is committed to strengthening multilateral counterterrorism cooperation and reinforcing the role of the United Nations in furthering global counterterrorism objectives.

In this regard, the United States continues to support a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism that would strengthen the existing international counterterrorism legal regime and reinforce the critical principle that no cause or grievance justifies terrorism in any form. 

Concerning the outstanding provision on military activities, our preference for concluding negotiations on the basis of language found in existing conventions is well known.  We again note that, beginning with the Terrorist Bombings Convention, the international community has repeatedly agreed on language in seven different counterterrorism instruments, including the two aviation counterterrorism instruments recently adopted in Beijing.  We have not been persuaded that there are deficiencies that need to be remedied in this standard language.  Indeed, it is clear from recent developments that this standard language, and the principles underlying it, have been widely accepted by the international community.

Although our preference for this standard language is well known, the United States has throughout been willing to consider all proposals that do not deviate from the principles underlying the standard language on military activities. Concerning the 2007 proposal, although we have expressed concerns with the language, we have also indicated that the United States is willing to consider the 2007 “compromise” text, without modifications, if that text would bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.

To date, we still have no indication that those who have objected to the standard language found in other counterterrorism instruments are prepared to accept the 2007 compromise proposal.  If those states that cannot accept the standard language are not prepared to accept the 2007 text without further modification, then the United States is skeptical that the current deadlock can be broken at this time. 

The United States remains willing to work within this body to resolve outstanding issues and finalize a comprehensive convention that would affirm that no cause or condition justifies terrorism in any form. We also emphasize that, whatever our differences in the context of these negotiations, there is much more that unites us in our common fight against the scourge of terrorism.  And we will continue to work with the United Nations, and our partners around the world, on efforts to prevent terrorist attacks; hold accountable those who facilitate, support, or undertake such acts; and address the social, economic, and political conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism. 

Thank you.


PRN: 2011/081