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The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly. It was established in 1945 in order to encourage the progressive development of international law and its codification.

Delegates of the Legal Committee have to keep in mind that their task is not to fight terrorism militarily nor promoting social reforms: they have the extremely important role to address the complexity of the issue on a legal basis. For example, it is fundamental to find a clear, universal and binding definition of terrorism in order to help the Member States classifying actions and events as terroristic attacks. At the moment, it has been impossible to establish a standard definition since some countries think there is not a clear distinction between terrorism and the right to self-determination.

Countering terrorism has been on the agenda of the United Nations for decades, and it is still one of the most debated issues. After the attacks to the Twin Towers (9/11), the General Assembly approved Resolution 1373, which established for the first time the Counter-Terrorism Committee. Five years later, all Member States agreed on a common core groundwork to fight the curse of terrorism: the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy. This Strategy commits itself to fight or even prevent terrorism along four pillars:

1. Addressing conditions conductive to the spread of terrorism;

2. Preventing and fighting against terrorism;

3. Building Member States’ capacity to prevent and control terrorism and strengthening the role of the United Nations system in this regard;

4. Ensuring the respect for human rights for all and the rule of law as the fundamental basis for countering terrorism.

After the adoption of the Strategy, the General Assembly also backed the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF). The CTITF was established in 2005 by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and it consists of 38 UN entities and affiliated organizations which promote coordination and coherence within the UN System on counter-terrorism and provide assistance to the Member States. Also, the UN Counter-Terrorism Center assures support to all Member States and counter-terrorism projects around the world in line with the four pillars of the Global Strategy. On June the 30th – after the recent attacks in Europe and in the Middle East – the General Assembly also adopted by consensus a resolution reviewing UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and welcomed the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

Since the adoption of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006, the project has seen important signs of progress in its employment and came across new types of terrorism-related threats to international peace and security.

To eliminate international terrorism in all its forms in order to maintain international peace and security, the United Nations, the relevant specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations must think to future strategies bearing in mind recent developments and initiatives to prevent and suppress international terrorism.

The United Nations condemn terrorism in all its forms, and the organization has been at the forefront in that battle, but the present time requires a particular legislative and administrative framework to deal with various aspects of terrorism. In fact, the Legal Committee is fundamental in this context in order to continuously monitorate legal measures and resolutions and create a strong and adjourned legislation against terrorism. It is fundamental to promote legislations that take in mind:

1. Partnership and cooperation;

2. Criminal pursuit;

3. Help and protection of human rights of citizens in occupied countries;

4. Spreading of a flourishing international dialogue between states.

Obviously, the single national policy of each country must be maintained: the real purpose of this committee is to provide an effective global counter-terrorism legislation and not to abrogate local country laws. In addition, the Committee could spread new measures of humanitarian helps by promoting coordination and coherence in the implementation of the Strategy at the national, regional and global levels and by providing assistance to the Member States where required.

Francesco Maiolo

Rebecca Campanati

Giacomo Bruno