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T.Doc.107-19 CONVENTION WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND REGARDING DOUBLE ...


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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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