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Unformatted text preview: 159 II. Follow-up to the aftermath of 11 September / Les conséquences du 11 septembre: suite The UN Response to International Terrorism in the Aftermath of the Terrorist Attacks in America and the Problem of the Definition of Terrorism in International Law SURYA P. SUBEDI* I. Introduction The year 2001 was marked by the terrorist attacks in America and the ensuing war in Afghanistan to destroy the terrorist networks suspected of organising the at- tacks. The terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., on 11 September had a significant impact on the UN and especially the activities of the 56th session of the General Assembly. The security of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth had been breached and the city which hosted the UN had come under direct attack of the terrorists. Immediately after the attacks the Security Council of the UN came into swift action by adopting resolutions designed to curb interna- tional terrorism. Resolutions were also adopted by the General Assembly to condemn the attacks. However, the General Assembly’s approach to international terrorism was more sys- tematic and long-term. Accordingly, attempts were made within the General Assem- bly to adopt a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. The aim of the comprehensive convention was to regulate many activities that are not cur- rently regulated by international law. However, the Assembly was unable to adopt such a convention during its 56th session, between September and December 2001, due to disagreement among States mainly with regard to the definition of terror- ism and the exceptions to the activities of armed forces during armed conflicts. This article makes an attempt to survey and analyse the activities of the UN in re- sponse to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in America and examine the efforts made and difficulties encountered within the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly in adopting a comprehensive convention on international terrorism. * LL.B., M.A. (Tribhuvan), LL.M. (Hull), D.Phil. (Oxon.); Professor of International Law, Middlesex University, London. The author was a member of the Nepalese delegation to the 56th Session of the UN General Assembly and Nepal’s representative to the Sixth Committee. The views expressed in this article are the personal views of the author and do not represent the views of His Majesty’s Government of Nepal. International Law FORUM du droit international 4 : 159–169, 2002. ©2002 Kluwer Law International. Printed in the Netherlands. 160 Recurring Themes / Thèmes récurrents II. The Response of the Security Council The day after the terrorist attacks took place in America the Security Council adopted a resolution (Resolution 1368), a short one, condemning the attacks and regarding them as a threat to international peace and security, thereby making it possible to activate the provisions of Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN. Al- though a resolution adopted by the Council less than two months prior to the 11...
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