Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism

Write a 500 word paper answering; Question The UN takes terrorism very seriously. The international community has been dedicated to, as the UN has said, “outlawing the scourge” (UNAction-a, n.d.) since 1934, when the League of Nations discussed a draft convention for the prevention and punishment of terrorism. Since 1963, the UN, along with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), has drafted thirteen universal legal instruments and three amendments seeking to prevent terrorist acts. In 2005, the UN and its affiliated agencies introduced major changes to three of these conventions: the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, and the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf. In 2006, the General Assembly adopted the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, which emphasizes the importance of existing international counter-terrorism instruments and encourages all member states to immediately implement their provisions. The strategy comes in the form of a resolution and an annexed Plan of Action, and marks the first time all UN member states agreed to a common strategic approach to fight terrorism. Not only does the strategy send a clear message that all forms of terrorism are unacceptable, it is a resolution by the UN to take practical steps to prevent and combat terrorism, both as individual states and collectively as an international community. These steps range from strengthening states’ capacity to counter terrorism threats to better coordinating the UN’s counter-terrorism activities (UN Action-b, n.d.) There may not be a standard in the definition of what exactly constitutes terrorism, but the UN has clearly done its part in trying to combat the practice. The fact that it calls terrorism “a scourge” attests to its commitment to counter-terrorism measures and its unequivocal denouncement of the practice. Question 2 The U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty is a treaty between the two countries that modernizes the extradition relationship between the U.S. and the UK and strengthens their ability to extradite serious offenders of criminal acts committed in both countries, including terrorism, violent crimes, organized crime, and white-collar offenses. Only those who have committed serious offenses—ones that carry a prison sentence of one year or more in both countries—can be extradited under this treaty. One country cannot extradite someone for conduct that is not criminal in the other country. Both countries require the same documentation of the crimes: an arrest warrant, identification papers, and information describing the alleged crime committed by the person the other country seeks to extradite. The person cannot be extradited if he or she has already been convicted or acquitted in the other country (Embassy, 2011). Even though the treaty was drafted by the UK government in 2003, it was not ratified by the U.S. Congress until 2006. Part of the reason for the long delay was the requirement of a two-thirds majority in the U.S. Senate, which might have been caused by some controversies surrounding the treaty. One of these controversies was the NatWest Three case, a group of British bankers convicted of wire fraud who were not extradited to the U.S. until 2007, after this treaty finally came into effect. Complaints from some Irish-American groups, which claimed that it would create legal problems for PIRA terrorists who fled to the U.S. in the 1980s, also delayed the treaty’s ratification. Works Cited Embassy of the United States. (2011-01-26). Fact sheet on the U.S.-UK Extradition Treaty. Retrieved from http://london.usembassy.gov/gb140.html. UN Action to Counter Terrorism. (n.d.). International legal instruments to counter terrorism. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/terrorism/instruments.shtml. UN Action to Counter Terrorism. (n.d.). United Nations General Assembly adopts global counter-terrorism strategy. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/terrorism/strategy-counter-terrorism.shtml.

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