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Published:February 17th, 2006 05:49 EST
U.S. Signs the Protocols to the United Nations

U.S. Signs the Protocols to the United Nations

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

Today, Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Holmes Tuttle signed on behalf of the United States two treaties amending the UN Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (SUA) and its related protocol on Fixed Platforms. After September 11, the international community, recognizing the urgent need for a more effective international regime to combat maritime terrorism, asked the United States to lead the effort to update the SUA Convention and Fixed Platform Protocol. These treaties were originally adopted in response to the 1985 hijacking of the Italian-flag cruise ship Achille Lauro and the murder of an American passenger.

After more than three years of intensive negotiations in the International Maritime Organization, parties adopted the new Protocols establishing important new international terrorist crimes and significantly strengthen our tools to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems. The treaties create an international criminal framework for combating, on the high seas, the use of a ship to undertake a terrorist attack or to transport terrorists or cargo intended for use in weapons of mass destruction programs. They also create a new international framework for boarding ships carrying items of proliferation concern and for interdiction of the items.

The new Protocols, when they enter into force, will add to the 12 already existing UN counterterrorism conventions and will be an important tool in the worldwide fight against terrorism and proliferation.

We strongly encourage all Parties to the SUA to sign and ratify the two new Protocols as quickly as possible.

 

Source: U.S. State Dept.