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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 is a counter-terrorism measure adopted September 28, 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States[1].The resolution was adopted by a unanimous UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and is therefore binding on all UN member states. It marks a shift in international law, as the latter was presumed to be valid only if the concerned state had voluntarily signed the international treaty; whereas here the Security Council imposed the resolution on all member states. According to the press release, the "meeting, which began at 10:50 p.m., adjourned at 10:53 p.m." and thus lasted three minutes [2]. There is no record of the meeting[3], and although the United States is widely credited with initiating Resolution 1373, it is not known who really was responsible for its passage.

Contents

Aims of the resolution

The resolution aimed to place barriers on the movement, organization and fund-raising activities of terrorist groups. UN member states were encouraged to share their intelligence on terrorist groups in order to assist in combating international terrorism. The resolution also calls on all states to adjust their national laws so that they can ratify all of the existing international conventions on terrorism. It stated that all States "should also ensure that terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the seriousness of such acts is duly reflected in sentences served."[2].

The resolution established the Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee [CTC]to monitor state compliance with is provisions.

It also aimed at restricting immigration law, stating that "before granting refugee status, all States should take appropriate measures to ensure that the asylum seekers had not planned, facilitated or participated in terrorist acts. Further, States should ensure that refugee status was not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts, and that claims of political motivation were not recognized as grounds for refusing requests for the extradition of alleged terrorists."[2]

However, the resolution failed to define 'Terrorism', and the working group initially only added Al-Qaida and the Taliban regime of Afghanistan on the sanctions list. This also entailed the possibility that authoritarian regimes could label even non-violent activities as terrorist acts, and thus infringing upon basic human rights.

Resolution 1456 (2003)

The absence of any specific reference to human rights considerations was remedied in part by Resolution 1456 (2003) which declared that "States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, and should adopt such measures in accordance with international law, in particular, international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law."

Resolution 1566

UN Security Council Resolution 1566 picked up loose ends from 1373 by actually spelling out what the Security Council sees as terrorism:

"criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act."

Although this definition has operative effect for the purposes of Security Council action, it does not represent a definition of "terrorism" which binds all states in international law. That is a task which could only be achieved by way of agreeing to an international treaty under the auspices of the UN General Assembly. Negotiations towards agreeing to such are ongoing, and a Comprehensive Convention exists in draft form, however agreement to its exact terms, most particularly the definition of "terrorism", remains elusive.

Resolution 1566 also called for the creation of a working group that will expand the list of terrorist entities under sanction beyond the Taliban and Al-Qaida.

National implementation

Most states complied with the resolution, with varying willingness (Mexico and Venezuela being quite reluctant, especially concerning the freezing of assets of persons or groups whom they had no evidence of involvement in terrorism), but only a few of them did so by explicitly referring to the UN resolution.

Russia was one of the exception to this rule: President of Russia Vladimir Putin translated the resolution in Russian and enacted as law by the 10 January, 2002 Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No 6 On Measures Towards the Implementation of the UN Security [4].

CTC 2008 report

Recommendations of the Counter Terrorism Committee 2008 report included increased measures concerning illegal immigration (considered, without evidence, as a serious risk to security) as well as:

  • to "Promote inter-agency coordination and the exchange of counter-terrorism information at the national, regional and international levels";
  • to "Encourage States to establish dedicated and permanent counter-terrorism units, with the assistance of experts seconded from various specialized institutions, in areas such as criminal law, counter-financing of terrorism and border control";
  • to "Encourage greater cooperation with INTERPOL and increased utilization of its resources and databases, such as red notices and watch lists" (Interpol created in 2002 the Interpol Terrorism Watch List).

Notes

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Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373
by the United Nations
←Indexes: United Nations Security Council Resolutions

Adopted unanimously by the Security Council at its 4385th meeting, on 28 September 2001

The Security Council,

Reaffirming its resolutions 1269 (1999) of 19 October 1999 and 1368 (2001) of 12 September 2001,

Reaffirming also its unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks which took place in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania on 11 September 2001, and expressing its determination to prevent all such acts,

Reaffirming further that such acts, like any act of international terrorism, constitute a threat to international peace and security,

Reaffirming the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence as recognized by the Charter of the United Nations as reiterated in resolution 1368 (2001),

Reaffirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,

Deeply concerned by the increase, in various regions of the world, of acts of terrorism motivated by intolerance or extremism,

Calling on States to work together urgently to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including through increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international conventions relating to terrorism,

Recognizing the need for States to complement international cooperation by taking additional measures to prevent and suppress, in their territories through all lawful means, the financing and preparation of any acts of terrorism,

Reaffirming the principle established by the General Assembly in its declaration of October 1970 (resolution 2625 (XXV)) and reiterated by the Security Council in its resolution 1189 (1998) of 13 August 1998, namely that every State has the duty to refrain from organizing, instigating, assisting or participating in terrorist acts in another State or acquiescing in organized activities within its territory directed towards the commission of such acts,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

1. Decides that all States shall:

(a) Prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts;
(b) Criminalize the wilful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to carry out terrorist acts;
(c) Freeze without delay funds and other financial assets or economic resources of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts or participate in or facilitate the commission of terrorist acts; of entities owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons; and of persons and entities acting on behalf of, or at the direction of such persons and entities, including funds derived or generated from property owned or controlled directly or indirectly by such persons and associated persons and entities;
(d) Prohibit their nationals or any persons and entities within their territories from making any funds, financial assets or economic resources or financial or other related services available, directly or indirectly, for the benefit of persons who commit or attempt to commit or facilitate or participate in the commission of terrorist acts, of entities owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by such persons and of persons and entities acting on behalf of or at the direction of such persons;

2. Decides also that all States shall:

(a) Refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, including by suppressing recruitment of members of terrorist groups and eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists;
(b) Take the necessary steps to prevent the commission of terrorist acts, including by provision of early warning to other States by exchange of information;
(c) Deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens;
(d) Prevent those who finance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respective territories for those purposes against other States or their citizens;
(e) Ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice and ensure that, in addition to any other measures against them, such terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the punishment duly reflects the seriousness of such terrorist acts;
(f) Afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations or criminal proceedings relating to the financing or support of terrorist acts, including assistance in obtaining evidence in their possession necessary for the proceedings;
(g) Prevent the movement of terrorists or terrorist groups by effective border controls and controls on issuance of identity papers and travel documents, and through measures for preventing counterfeiting, forgery or fraudulent use of identity papers and travel documents;

3. Calls upon all States to:

(a) Find ways of intensifying and accelerating the exchange of operational information, especially regarding actions or movements of terrorist persons or networks; forged or falsified travel documents; traffic in arms, explosives or sensitive materials; use of communications technologies by terrorist groups; and the threat posed by the possession of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups;
(b) Exchange information in accordance with international and domestic law and cooperate on administrative and judicial matters to prevent the commission of terrorist acts;
(c) Cooperate, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks and take action against perpetrators of such acts;
(d) Become parties as soon as possible to the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism, including the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism of 9 December 1999;
(e) Increase cooperation and fully implement the relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism and Security Council resolutions 1269 (1999) and 1368 (2001);
(f) Take appropriate measures in conformity with the relevant provisions of national and international law, including international standards of human rights, before granting refugee status, for the purpose of ensuring that the asylum seeker has not planned, facilitated or participated in the commission of terrorist acts;
(g) Ensure, in conformity with international law, that refugee status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts, and that claims of political motivation are not recognized as grounds for refusing requests for the extradition of alleged terrorists;

4. Notes with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms-trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials, and in this regard emphasizes the need to enhance coordination of efforts on national, subregional, regional and international levels in order to strengthen a global response to this serious challenge and threat to international security;

5. Declares that acts, methods, and practices of terrorism are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and that knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts are also contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations;

6. Decides to establish, in accordance with rule 28 of its provisional rules of procedure, a Committee of the Security Council, consisting of all the members of the Council, to monitor implementation of this resolution, with the assistance of appropriate expertise, and calls upon all States to report to the Committee, no later than 90 days from the date of adoption of this resolution and thereafter according to a timetable to be proposed by the Committee, on the steps they have taken to implement this resolution;

7. Directs the Committee to delineate its tasks, submit a work programme within 30 days of the adoption of this resolution, and to consider the support it requires, in consultation with the Secretary-General;

8. Expresses its determination to take all necessary steps in order to ensure the full implementation of this resolution, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter;

9. Decides to remain seized of this matter.

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