Ad Hoc and Special Committees (established on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee) Ad Hoc and Special Committees (established on the recommendation of the Sixth Committee)

Last update: February 16, 2017

International Terrorism

Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996

(1997– )

Current mandate

In its resolution 71/151 of 13 December 2016, the General Assembly decided to recommend that the Sixth Committee, at the seventy-second session of the General Assembly, establish a working group with a view to finalizing the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism as well as discussions on the item included in its agenda by Assembly resolution 54/110 concerning the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations (para. 24). In the same resolution, the General Assembly recognized the efforts of Member States towards resolving any outstanding issues, and encouraged all Member States to redouble their efforts during the intersessional period (para.25).

Background

In 1996 the General Assembly, in resolution 51/210 of 17 December, decided to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to elaborate an international convention for the suppression of terrorist bombings and, subsequently, an international convention for the suppression of acts of nuclear terrorism, to supplement related existing international instruments, and thereafter to address means of further developing a comprehensive legal framework of conventions dealing with international terrorism.

This mandate has continued to be revised and renewed on an annual basis by the General Assembly in its resolutions on the agenda item "Measures to eliminate international terrorism".

The establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee was preceded by the adoption by the General Assembly of the following two declarations:

Developments

Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 67/99, the Ad Hoc Committee last met at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 8 to 12 April 2013 to continue to elaborate the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism and to discuss the item included in its agenda by Assembly resolution 54/110 concerning the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations (A/68/37). At its 50th meeting, on 12 April, the Ad Hoc Committee, noting that more time was required to achieve substantive progress on the outstanding issues, decided to recommend that the Sixth Committee, at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, establish a working group with a view to finalizing the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism as well as discussions on the item included in its agenda by General Assembly resolution 54/110 concerning the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations.

No sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee established by General Assembly resolution 51/210 were held in 2014, 2015 or 2016 and the Ad Hoc Committee is not envisaged to meet in 2017. Work is continued in the framework of a working group of the Sixth Committee of the General Assembly.

In its resolution 68/119, taking into account the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee the General Assembly decided to recommend that the Sixth Committee, at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, establish a working group with a view to finalizing the process on the draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism as well as discussions on the item included in its agenda by Assembly resolution 54/110 concerning the question of convening a high-level conference under the auspices of the United Nations. The Working Group was established at the sixty-ninth, seventieth and seventy-first sessions of the General Assembly. In its resolution 71/151 of 13 December 2016, the General Assembly once more decided to recommend that the Sixth Committee establish a working group at the seventy-second session of the General Assembly.

Working methods

The pattern of meetings of the Ad hoc Committee had been such that it had held one session per year over a one or two week period, usually early in the year. The work was then continued in the framework of a Working Group of the Sixth Committee held later in the year during the regular session of the General Assembly.

The Ad Hoc Committee worked on the basis that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

The Committee is open to all States Members of the United Nations or members of specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Product of the Ad Hoc Committee's work

Since its establishment, the Ad Hoc Committee has negotiated several texts resulting in the adoption of three treaties:

By the end of 2000, work had begun on a draft comprehensive convention on international terrorism. For an indication of subsequent developments concerning the negotiations of the draft comprehensive convention, the following documents may be consulted: A/57/37, A/59/894, A/C.6/60/L.6, A/61/37, A/C.6/61/SR.21, A/62/37, A/C.6/62/SR.16, A/63/37, A/C.6/63/SR.14, A/64/37, A/C.6/64/SR.14, A/65/37, A/C.6/65/L.10, A/66/37, A/C.6/66/SR.28, A/C.6/67/SR.23, A/68/37, A/C.6/69/SR.28, A/C.6/70/SR.27 and A/C.6/71/SR.31.