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UN treaty on terrorism unlikely before end of year

[JURIST] UN leaders have largely given up on completing a comprehensive treaty against terrorism [UN backgrounder] before the end of the year, as hoped by UN leaders, with a working committee on the treaty failing to break an impasse over how to define terrorism. UN General Assembly President Jan Eliasson [official profile] attempted to reach a last-minute compromise with members of the treaty-writing committee without success, and the working group adjourned Wednesday until Feb. 27. Thirteen global treaties already touch on the issue of terrorism, but the UN had hoped to create a comprehensive treaty on the issue, a move that has remained stalled since 1996. At the center of the dispute is how terrorism will be defined. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official profile] has called for a broad definition that includes any intentional maiming or killing of civilians regardless of motive, but the Organization of the Islamic Conference [official website] has resisted such a definition as inconsistent with the rights of national liberation movements like the Palestinians. Reuters has more.

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