Cuba becomes party to all 19 international legal instruments against terrorism

Terrorism represents a major threat to the international community, especially to countries with weak counterterrorism legislation and criminal justice systems. Terrorist groups aim to destablize governments and foster economic and social stability. This objective can be more easily achieved if a country lacks sufficient capacity to deal with counterterrorism matters.

To respond to these threats, the international community developed a legal framework that consists, in addition to several United Nations General Assembly and Security Council resolutions, 19 international legally binding instruments related to the prevention and suppression of international terrorism*. Covering a wide range of terrorist offences, these conventions and protocols create obligations for state parties to criminalise offences at the national level, establish the obligation to extradite or prosecute as well as develop mechanisms to enhance international cooperation in criminal matters.

UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch is entrusted by the General Assembly to deliver technical assistance to requesting the Member States to become party to the 19 international instruments against terrorism and promote universal adherence to all the international legal framework. 

In 2020, Cuba became the fifth country in the world to ratify, accede or otherwise become party to all 19 international instruments, showcasing its commitment to strengthening the international legal regime against terrorism. Full adherence to these instruments commenced in 2016 when the Dominican Republic finalized this process, followed by Côte D’Ivoire in 2017 as well as Kazakhstan and Turkey, who became party to all 19 conventions and protocols in 2019. 

However, assisting requesting Member States to become party to the 19 international instruments against terrorism is only one of many of UNODC’s mandated responsibilities. For example, UNODC is also entrusted to support States’ to effectively implement these conventions through the incorporation of their provisions into national legislation to strengthen their national legal and criminal justice frameworks.

 In 2020, 15 instruments of ratification, accession, approval, or acceptance of the 19 instruments were deposited by UN Member States. This brings the total adherence rate of these instruments to 67.4%. 

To keep track of the status of adherence to these conventions and protocols, UNODC has developed the SHERLOC knowledge management portal, which includes a treaties database providing the latest ratification status of Member States to the relevant international and regional instruments.

The 19 international legal instruments against terrorism are:

 

1963 Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft

 

1970 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft

1971 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation

 

1973 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents

 

1979 International Convention against the Taking of Hostages

 

1980 Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

 

1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation

 

1988 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation

 

1988 Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf

 

1991 Convention on the Marking of Plastic Explosives for the Purpose of Detection

1997 International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings

1999 International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism

2005 International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

 

2005 Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material

 

2005 Protocol to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation

 

2005 Protocol to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf

 

2010 Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Relating to International Civil Aviation

 

2010 Protocol Supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft

 

2014 Protocol to the Convention on Offences and Certain other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft