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UN General Assembly Resolutions: Resolution 51/210

(December 17, 1996)

The resolution was adopted without a vote as Israel agreed with its provisions. It referred to the measures needed to combat terror. It reaffirmed previous resolutions on this matter and called for the elimination and condemnation of terror. This was the last major resolution on the Middle East in the 51st United Nations General Assembly.

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 49/60 of 9 December 1994, by which it adopted the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, and its resolution 50/53 of 11 December 1995,

Recalling also the Declaration on the Occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the United Nations,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Deeply disturbed by the persistence of terrorist acts, which have taken place worldwide,

Stressing the need further to strengthen international cooperation between States and between international organizations and agencies, regional organizations and arrangements and the United Nations in order to prevent, combat and eliminate terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomsoever committed,

Mindful of the need to enhance the role of the United Nations and the relevant specialized agencies in combating international terrorism,

Noting, in this context, all regional and international efforts to combat international terrorism, including those of the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of American States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the countries of the group of seven major industrialized countries and the Russian Federation,

Taking note of the report of the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on educational activities under the project entitled "Towards a culture of peace",

Recalling that in the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism the General Assembly encouraged States to review urgently the scope of the existing international legal provisions on the prevention, repression and elimination of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, with the aim of ensuring that there was a comprehensive legal framework covering all aspects of the matter,

Bearing in mind the possibility of considering in the future the elaboration of a comprehensive convention on international terrorism,

Noting that terrorist attacks by means of bombs, explosives or other incendiary or lethal devices have become increasingly widespread, and stressing the need to supplement the existing legal instruments in order to address specifically the problem of terrorist attacks carried out by such means,

Recognizing the need to enhance international cooperation to prevent the use of nuclear materials for terrorist purposes and to develop an appropriate legal instrument,

Recognizing also the need to strengthen international cooperation to prevent the use of chemical and biological materials for terrorist purposes,

Convinced of the need to implement effectively and supplement the provisions of the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism,

Having examined the report of the Secretary-General,


1. Strongly condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, wherever and by whomsoever committed;

2. Reiterates that criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other nature that may be invoked to justify them;

3. Calls upon all States to adopt further measures in accordance with the relevant provisions of international law, including international standards of human rights, to prevent terrorism and to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism and, to that end, to consider the adoption of measures such as those contained in the official document adopted by the group of seven major industrialized countries and the Russian Federation at the Ministerial Conference on Terrorism, held in Paris on 30 July 1996, and the plan of action adopted by the Inter-American Specialized Conference on Terrorism, held at Lima from 23 to 26 April 1996 under the auspices of the Organization of American States, and in particular calls upon all States:

(a) To recommend that relevant security officials undertake consultations to improve the capability of Governments to prevent, investigate and respond to terrorist attacks on public facilities, in particular means of public transport, and to cooperate with other Governments in this respect;

(b) To accelerate research and development regarding methods of detection of explosives and other harmful substances that can cause death or injury, undertake consultations on the development of standards for marking explosives in order to identify their origin in post-blast investigations, and promote cooperation and transfer of technology, equipment and related materials, where appropriate;

(c) To note the risk of terrorists using electronic or wire communications systems and networks to carry out criminal acts and the need to find means, consistent with national law, to prevent such criminality and to promote cooperation where appropriate;

(d) To investigate, when sufficient justification exists according to national laws, and acting within their jurisdiction and through appropriate channels of international cooperation, the abuse of organizations, groups or associations, including those with charitable, social or cultural goals, by terrorists who use them as a cover for their own activities;

(e) To develop, if necessary, especially by entering into bilateral and multilateral agreements and arrangements, mutual legal assistance procedures aimed at facilitating and speeding investigations and collecting evidence, as well as cooperation between law enforcement agencies in order to detect and prevent terrorist acts;

(f) To take steps to prevent and counteract, through appropriate domestic measures, the financing of terrorists and terrorist organizations, whether such financing is direct or indirect through organizations which also have or claim to have charitable, social or cultural goals or which are also engaged in unlawful activities such as illicit arms trafficking, drug dealing and racketeering, including the exploitation of persons for purposes of funding terrorist activities, and in particular to consider, where appropriate, adopting regulatory measures to prevent and counteract movements of funds suspected to be intended for terrorist purposes without impeding in any way the freedom of legitimate capital movements and to intensify the exchange of information concerning international movements of such funds;

4. Also calls upon all States, with the aim of enhancing the efficient implementation of relevant legal instruments, to intensify, as and where appropriate, the exchange of information on facts related to terrorism and, in so doing, to avoid the dissemination of inaccurate or unverified information;

5. Reiterates its call upon States to refrain from financing, encouraging, providing training for or otherwise supporting terrorist activities;

6. Urges all States that have not yet done so to consider, as a matter of priority, becoming parties to the Convention on offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, signed at Tokyo on 14 September 1963, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft, signed at The Hague on 16 December 1970, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, concluded at Montreal on 23 September 1971, the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted in New York on 14 December 1973, the International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted in New York on 17 December 1979, the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, signed at Vienna on 3 March 1980, the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation, signed at Montreal on 24 February 1988, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, done at Rome on 10 March 1988, the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms located on the Continental Shelf, done at Rome on 10 March 1988, and the Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection, done at Montreal on 1 March 1991, and calls upon all States to enact, as appropriate, domestic legislation necessary to implement the provisions of those Conventions and Protocols, to ensure that the jurisdiction of their courts enables them to bring to trial the perpetrators of terrorist acts and to provide support and assistance to other Governments for those purposes;


7. Reaffirms the Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism contained in the annex to resolution 49/60;

8. Approves the Declaration to Supplement the 1994 Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism, the text of which is annexed to the present resolution;


9. Decides to establish an Ad Hoc Committee, open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and, subsequently, an international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism, to supplement related existing international instruments, and thereafter to address means of further developing a comprehensive legal framework of conventions dealing with international terrorism;

10. Decides also that the Ad Hoc Committee will meet from 24 February to 7 March 1997 to prepare the text of a draft international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings, and recommends that work continue during the fifty-second session of the General Assembly from 22 September to 3 Octobers 1997 in the framework of a working group of the sixth Committee;

11. Requests the Secretary-General to provide the Ad Hoc Committee with the necessary facilities for the performance of its work;

12. Requests the Ad Hoc Committee to report to the General Assembly at its fifty-second session on progress made towards the elaboration of the draft convention;

13. Recommends that the Ad Hoc Committee be convened in 1998 to continue its work as referred to in paragraph 9 above;


14. Decides to include in the provisional agenda of its fifty-second session the item entitled "Measures to eliminate international terrorism."

Sources: The United Nations