International Policy essay

The failure of states to capably conclude a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism lies primarily in a lack of consensus. U. N. member states have attempted to engage in a dialogue about this matter for the better part of the past two decades. However, despite the general agreement over the importance of drafting international provisions related to combating terrorism, there is a lack of consensus on important matters such as the legal definition of terrorism, and the extent to which it can be distinguished from political movements such as anti-colonialism and national liberation.

(Center for Nonproliferation Studies, 2009) India presented the initial draft of the convention in 1996, and that document has been subjected to endless debate and discussion since then, but as indicated above, it is the definition of terrorism that produced little agreement. For example, nations that had experienced U. S. intervention such as Cuba, Iraq and Iran, expressed the view that State-sponsored terrorism should be included in the scope of the definition, while others contended that such a definition should not abridge the rights of people to struggle against foreign occupation, colonialism or aggression.

(ReformtheUN. org, 2008) The implication of this failure is that there continues to be a lack of accord between U. N. members on anti-terrorism policy. The draft convention intends to not only address enforcement actions against terrorism, but define States’ obligation to refrain from assisting or instigating such activities in other States, and therefore without the Comprehensive Convention, trust between States is significantly undermined in this matter.

While I believe that the International Criminal Court is in fact, a tool of Western imperialism, I do not agree with the supposition that it has something to do with the fact that all of its cases relate to Africa, but rather, the logical lapses that have been a feature of its cases, nevermind the fact that it has no actual legal standing to intervene in international affairs. It is not officially a U. N. body and the statute which brought it into being, was not successfully ratified by the majority of U. N. States, yet it operates despite this. Freeman (2009) argues that this makes the ICC unlawful, and I agree with him.

Furthermore, ICC’s portfolio of cases to date prove it is a tool of Western imperialism, not because all of them have been in Africa, but because each case has conveniently fallen into the interests of the West. For example, Bangash (2009) contends that in the case of the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, questionable lines were drawn around the participants of the conflict in a manner subtly complicit with the foreign policy intentions of anti-Islamic Western powers. Therefore, the ICC has become a tool by which imperialist Western powers can leverage their agenda.


ReformtheUN. org (2008, March 13) “Ad Hoc Committee Negotiates Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, No Consensus Reached. ” Reform the UN. Retrieved on June 25, 2009 from: http://www. reformtheun. org/index. php/eupdate/3879 Center for Nonproliferation Studies. (2009, June 27) “Draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” Inventory of International Nonproliferation Organizations and Regimes, Monterey Institute of International Studies. Retrieved on June 28, 2009 from: http://cns. miis. edu/inventory/pdfs/intlterr. pdf