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T.Doc.107-19 CONVENTION WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND REGARDING DOUBLE ...
107th Congress 2d Session SENATE Treaty Doc. 107-18 ______________________________________________________________________ INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM __________ MESSAGE from THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TRANSMITTING INTER-AMERICAN CONVENTION AGAINST TERRORISM (``CONVENTION'') ADOPTED AT THE THIRTY-SECOND REGULAR SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES (``OAS'') MEETING IN BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS, AND SIGNED BY THIRTY COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, ON JUNE 3, 2002 [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT] November 12, 2002.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL ---------- The White House, November 12, 2002. To the Senate of the United States: With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith, the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, adopted at the Thirty-Second Regular Session of the OAS General Assembly meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, on June 3, 2002, and opened for signature on that date. At that time it was signed by 30 of the 33 members attending the meeting, including the United States. It has subsequently been signed by another two member states, leaving only two states that have not yet signed. In addition, I transmit herewith, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State. The negotiation of the Interior-American Convention Against Terrorism (the ``Convention'') was a direct response to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. At that time, the OAS was meeting in Lima, Peru, to adopt a Democratic Charter uniting all 34 democracies in the hemisphere. The OAS member states expressed their strong commitment to assist the United States in preventing such incidents from occurring again anywhere in our hemisphere. Within 10 days, the foreign ministers of the OAS member states, meeting in Washington, D.C., endorsed the idea of drafting a regional convention against terrorism. Argentina, Peru, Chile, and Mexico played particularly important roles in the development and negotiation of the Convention. The Convention will advance important United States Government interests and enhance hemispheric security by improving regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The forms of enhanced cooperation include exchanges of information, exchanges of experience and training, technical cooperation, and mutual legal assistance. The convention is consistent with, and builds upon previous counterterrorism instruments and U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, which mandates certain measures to combat terrorism. The Convention provides for regional use of a variety of legal tools that have proven effective against terrorism and transnational organized crime in recent years. Since fighting terrorist financing has been identified as an essential part of the fight against terrorism, the Convention addresses crucial financial regulatory, as well as criminal law, aspects. Existing Federal authority is sufficient to discharge the obligations of the united States under this Convention, and therefore no implementing legislation will be required. In particular, the Convention mandates the establishment of financial intelligence units for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of terrorist financing information and the establishment and enhancement of channels of communication between law enforcement authorities for secure and rapid exchange of information concerning all aspects of terrorist offenses; the exchange of information to improve border and customs control measures to detect and prevent movement of terrorists and terrorist-related materials; and technical cooperation and training programs. The Convention also provides measures relating to the denial of refugee or asylum status. In addition, the Convention provides that terrorist acts may not be considered ``political'' offenses for which extradition or mutual legal assistance requests can be denied, and provides for other mechanisms to facilitate mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. In sum, the Convention is in the interests of the United States and represents an important step in the fight against terrorism. I therefore recommend that the Senate give prompt and favorable consideration to the Convention, subject to the understanding that are described in the accompanying report of the Department of State, and give its advice and consent to ratification. George W. Bush. LETTER OF SUBMITTAL ---------- Department of State, Washington, October 7, 2002. The President, The White House. The President: I have the honor to submit to you the Inter- American Convention Against Terrorism (``Convention'') adopted at the Thirty-Second Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (``OAS'') meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados, and signed by thirty countries, including the United States, on June 3, 2002. It has been signed by two additional countries since that date. The Convention will enter into force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification. Introduction The Convention reflects the rapid response of the Western Hemisphere to the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, as well as the outstanding solidarity among the other member states of the Hemisphere with the United States and the global coalition against terrorism. The purpose of the Convention is to promote the prevention, punishment, and elimination of terrorism. The States Parties agree to adopt specified measures and to strengthen cooperation among themselves in furtherance of that purpose. The Convention will advance important U.S. Government interests and enhance hemispheric security by improving regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The forms of enhanced cooperation include exchanges of information, exchanges of experience and training, technical cooperation, and mutual legal assistance. Existing federal authority is sufficient to discharge the obligations of the United States under this Convention, and therefore no implementing legislation will be required. Background Information The Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism was negotiated pursuant to a mandate adopted at the Organization of American States (OAS) Foreign Ministers' meeting of consultation of September 21, 2001. The negotiations were a direct response to the attacks on the United States of September 11. The OAS, which was meeting in Lima, Peru, on September 11, 2001, to adopt the Inter-American Democratic Charter, was the first international organization to condemn the terrorist attacks on the United States. The organization expressed its strong commitment to assist the United States in preventing such incidents from occurring again anywhere in the Hemisphere. This was followed by many expressions of support from leaders of the OAS member states. Immediately upon returning to Washington, the OAS Permanent Council began to discuss ways to demonstrate regional solidarity, to enhance cooperation in the fight against terrorism, and to take concrete steps to assist the United States. This led to the September 21 meeting of OAS Foreign Ministers, who instructed the OAS to take a number of additional measure, including drafting the Convention and revitalizing the work of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism (CICTE) to develop practical measures that could be implemented on an urgent basis. Prior to the beginning of the negotiations, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1373 (September 28, 2001), which calls upon 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,'' and ``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.'' Three negotiating rounds were held, all at the OAS Headquarters in Washington: November 26-28, 2001; January 22- 25, 2002; and March 18-21, 2002. Almost all of the thirty-four member states of the OAS participated in one or more of these rounds and in the inter-sessional discussions. Essential Elements of the Convention The Convention is designed to build upon the multilateral and bilateral instruments already in force and to which the United States is a Party by enhancing cooperation in preventing, punishing, and eradicating terrorism. It does so by elaborating for regional use a variety of legal tools that have proven effective against terrorism and transnational organized crime in recent years. Following the model of the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, the Convention incorporates by reference the offenses set forth in ten counterterrorism instruments listed in paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Convention. Negotiators chose this approach because of the breadth of converge already provided by these prior instruments (all crimes ordinarily recognized as terrorism-related offenses are covered, including hijackings, bombings, attacks on diplomats, and the financing of terrorism and the OAS's desire to respond rapidly to the events of September 11 and the continuing threat of terrorism in the region. All Parties are required under the Convention to ``endeavor to become a party'' to the ten prior instruments (the United States is already a Party to all of the instruments). In addition to facilitating implementation of the Convention, this obligation also advances implementation of UNSCR 1373, which ``calls upon'' states to become Parties to these same instruments ``as soon as possible.'' Thus, we would hope that all Parties to the Convention will have become Parties to those instruments by the time they deposit their instruments of ratification for this Convention. However, so as not to delay a state from becoming a Party to this Convention, and in order to preserve the prerogatives of the legislative bodies in becoming Parties to the instruments listed in the Convention, the Convention provides that a state may declare that the obligations contained in the Convention do not apply to the offenses set forth in any one of the counterterorism instruments listed in Article 2 if it is not yet a Party to that instrument or if it ceases to be a Party. This procedure provides a high degree of flexibility for states that are considering becoming Parties to this Convention, without undermining the U.S. interest in having all states become Parties to all of the other international instruments relating to terrorism. In addition to incorporating the offenses from prior counterterrorism instruments, the Convention adopts elements from prior conventions and initiatives, in some cases expanding the scope of these elements and in other cases converting voluntary measures into legally binding ones. For example, Article 11 of the Convention prohibits Parties from denying extradition or mutual legal assistance requests on the sole ground that an offense covered by the Convention is or concerns a political offense. This provision appears in the more recent counterterrorism instruments and, by incorporating it into the Convention, its scope will be expanded to include offenses set forth in prior conventions and protocols as well. Another example is the Convention's requirement in paragraph 1 of Article 4 that Parties institute a legal and regulatory regime to prevent, combat, and eradicate the financing of terrorism. A similar requirement can be found in UNSCR 1373, but the Convention goes further by requiring that the regime include specific elements drawn from the forty recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF), an inter-governmental body whose purpose is to develop and promote policies to combat money laundering. In fulfillment of one of its requirements, the United States will notify the OAS Secretary General, upon the deposit of its instruments of ratification, the national authority designated to be its financial intelligence unit. In addition, paragraph 2 of Article 4 of the Convention mandates that, when establishing their legal andregulatory regimes, Parties must use as ``guidelines'' the recommendations developed by specialized international and regional entities, in particular the FATF and, as appropriate, the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force, and the South American Financial Action Task Force, which are likewise inter- governmental bodies that develop policies relating to money laundering within their respective areas. Because the recommendations of these entities can change over time, the Convention requires that Parties use the recommendations of FATF, as well as the recommendations of the other entities, as ``guidelines'' in implementing paragraph 1 of Article 4, rather than requiring that the Parties implement all of those recommendations in full. Other measures incorporated into the Convention include: expanding the basis for seizure and forfeiture of funds and other assets; expansion of predicate offenses for money laundering; enhancing cooperation on border controls and among law enforcement authorities; establishment of a mechanism for transferring persons in custody for identification, testimony or other types of assistance; and denial of refugee status in cases where there are serious reasons for considering that the person has committed an offense covered by the Convention. The Convention facilitates the implementation of many of the mandatory measures called for in UNSCR 1373 by establishing mechanisms for cooperation in the region, and by mandating that Parties take specific, concrete steps that will advance their implementation of the more general measures set forth in that resolution. Those measures include: freezing funds or assets that are used in or form the proceeds of terrorist offenses; measures relating to the denial of refugee or asylum status; affording other Parties the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations or criminal proceedings relating to terrorist acts; and detecting and preventing the movement of terrorists and terrorist groups by effective border controls and controls on the issuance of travel and identity documents. Article 10 establishes a procedure whereby persons in custody may be transferred to another party for the purpose of providing assistance in obtaining evidence for the investigation or prosecution of any of the listed offenses. Under this Article, the transfer would take place with the persons' consent and the agreement of the states sending and receiving the person. This provision is found in most modern U.S. mutual legal assistance treaties and in prior conventions relating to terrorism, in particular the 1997 International Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings and the 1999 International Convention on the Suppression of the
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