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Homeland Security

15 November 2005

U.S. Set To Become Party to Inter-American Anti-Terrorism Pact

Convention seeks to fight terror "in all its forms," State Department says

The United States will become a party to the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism in 30 days, the State Department said November 15, following deposit that day of the instrument of ratification at Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington.

The State Department said in a November 15 fact sheet on the ratification that the convention is a "powerful indication" of the resolve by the countries of the Americas "to fight terrorism in all its forms."

The OAS General Assembly adopted the pact in June 2002 in Bridgetown, Barbados.  The United States signed the convention in June 2002, but Senate approval was needed before the United States could ratify the Western Hemisphere counterterrorism measure.  The U.S. Senate approved the pact October 7, and President Bush signed the instrument of ratification for the convention November 2.  (See related article.)

The convention entered into force internationally on July 10, 2003, after six countries became parties to it.  As of November 15, there are 34 signatories and 13 parties to the convention (Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela), according to the State Department.

The text of Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism is available on the OAS Web site.

Following is the text of the State Department fact sheet:

(begin fact sheet)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
November 15, 2005

FACT SHEET

Ratification by the United States of the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism

Summary

-- On October 7, 2005, the U.S. Senate gave its advice and consent to the President's ratification of the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism.  On November 2, 2005, President Bush signed the instrument of ratification for the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism.

-- The United States deposited the instrument of ratification at the Organization of American States headquarters in Washington, D.C. on November 15, 2005, and will become party to the Convention 30 days thereafter in accordance with the Convention's terms.

-- The Convention entered into force internationally on July 10, 2003, after six countries became party.  As of November 15, 2005, there are 34 Signatories and 13 Parties to the Convention (Antigua and Barbuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Dominica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela).

-- The Convention, passed by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the immediate aftermath of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, commits state parties to endeavor to become party to ten international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism (listed in the Convention), consistent with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373.  The Convention also commits state parties to take certain measures to prevent, combat, and eradicate the financing of terrorism and to deny safe haven to suspected terrorists.

-- The Treaty further requires that the terrorist acts covered under the specified international conventions and protocols be criminalized as predicate crimes to money laundering.  The Convention provides for enhanced cooperation in a number of areas, including exchanges of information, border control measures, and law enforcement actions.

-- The Convention is a powerful indication of this region's resolve to fight terrorism in all its forms.

Background

-- The United States actively participated in the Inter-American Convention against Terrorism negotiations along with the other 33 OAS member states.  The Convention was adopted by the OAS General Assembly June 3, 2002 (AG/Resolution 1840(XXXII-0/02).

-- Text of the Convention can be found at http://www.oas.org/juridico/english/treaties/a-66.htm.

(end fact sheet)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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