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Democracies facing terrorism

Recommendation 1534 (2001)

Parliamentary Assembly
Assembly debate on 25 and 26 September 2001 (27th and 28th Sittings) (see Doc. 9228, report of the Political Affairs Committee, rapporteur: Mr Davis; and Doc. 9232, opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, rapporteur: Mr Jansson). Text adopted by the Assembly on 26 September 2001 (28th Sitting).
1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1258 (2001) on democracies facing terrorism.
2. It strongly condemns all forms of terrorism as a violation of the most fundamental human right: the right to life.
3. It takes note of the declaration by the Committee of Ministers of 12 September 2001 and welcomes its decision of 21 September 2001 to include the fight against terrorism in the agenda for the 109th Session of the Committee of Ministers (7 and 8 November 2001).
4. At the same time, the Assembly is aware of the enormous ethical implications of further research on the human genome, including some of a negative nature. These include questions regarding the cloning of cells, the conditions ruling genetic testing and the divulging and use of obtained information.
5. The Assembly urges the Committee of Ministers to:
5.1 ask those member states who have not yet done so to sign and ratify the existing relevant anti-terrorist conventions, especially the International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism;
5.2 invite member states to lift their reservations to anti-terrorist conventions, which hinder international co-operation;
5.3 ensure the full implementation of all existing Council of Europe conventions in the penal field;
5.4 request those member and Observer states that have not done so to sign and ratify, as rapidly as possible, the Treaty of Rome, which provides for the establishment of the International Criminal Court;
5.5 make it possible for Observer and non-member states to accede to the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism at its 109th Ministerial Session, and invite them, as well as those member states who have not yet signed and/or ratified this convention, to do so at this session;
5.6 establish immediate, concrete and formal co-operation with the European Union, the OSCE and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on the basis of the Council of Europe’s values and legal instruments, in order to guarantee coherence and efficiency in Europe’s action against terrorism;
5.7 ask member states to review their education programmes in order to enhance the role of democratic values, as children and the younger generation are often used by the terrorists to achieve their aims;
5.8 reconsider the basis of international co-operation in criminal matters in Europe, in order to find new and more effective means of co-operation which take account of present-day realities and needs;
5.9 extend the terms of reference of the Committee of Experts on the Criminalisation of Acts of a Racist or Xenophobic Nature Committed Through Computer Networks (PC-RX) to terrorist messages and the decoding thereof;
5.10 as regards the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, remove as a matter of urgency Article 13, which grants contracting states the right to make reservations which can defeat the purpose of the convention by enabling the states to refuse extradition for offences otherwise extraditable;
5.11 give urgent consideration to amending and widening the Rome Statute to allow the remit of the International Criminal Court to include acts of international terrorism;
5.12 review the relevant existing conventions in the light of the recent events and declare terrorism and all forms of support for it to be crimes against humanity.
6. The Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers examine, in co-operation with the European Union bodies, the modalities for extending the European Union arrest warrant to all Council of Europe member states in the field of the fight against terrorism.
7. It reiterates its Recommendation 1426 (1999) on European democracies facing up to terrorism and calls on the Committee of Ministers to provide a more substantial reply to it as a matter of urgency.