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UN General Assembly working on terrorism definition for global treaty

[JURIST] UN leaders at the 60th General Assembly session now underway in New York in the aftermath of the 2005 World Summit [official website] are pressing for agreement on a definition of terrorism and are calling for a broad international convention to serve as a co-ordinating framework for governmental anti-terror efforts. Progress towards a convention has been made, with the adoption last week of a summit outcome document [PDF text; UN summary, JURIST report] detailing an international commitment to fight terrorism, human rights abuses and poverty. The report condemned terrorism "in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purpose" but did not include a definition of terrorism which rules out acts on civilians, as had been recommended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. A draft anti-terror treaty has been stuck in the UN's legal committee for some nine years. Negotiations got under way again [JURIST report] in July. Annan Saturday called on the Assembly [JURIST news report] to "build on that simple statement to complete a comprehensive convention against terrorism in the year ahead and forge a global counterterrorism strategy that weakens terrorists. " AP has more.

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