Committee: General Assembly
The UN General Assembly has yet to establish a definition for the term “terrorism” due to a lack of consensus among member states. States commonly disagree upon whether nonviolent acts can constitute terrorism, whether people have the right to resist foreign occupation, and in what cases a state may legally employ its armed forces against civilians, preventing them from creating a definition for the word “terrorism” in the General Assembly (UN Background, 2014). The International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, however, implies that terrorism constitutes, “any act intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to a civilian, or to any other person not taking an active part in the hostilities in a situation of armed conflict, when the purpose of such act, by its nature or context, is to intimidate a population, or to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act”(UN International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, 2014). Furthermore, 12 UN international counterterrorism conventions, international customary law, the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statutes prohibit virtually all forms of terrorism (UN Terrorism, 2014). The General Assembly, however, has not been able to compile the definitions of terrorism used in several UN conventions into one comprehensive definition. This lack of a comprehensive definition for terrorism, according to the United Nations, “undermines the normative and moral stance against terrorism and has stained the United Nations image,” and it is a “political imperative” that a definition be established (UN Terrorism, 2014).
The United Nations recognizes the following organizations as terrorist groups: AlNusra Front, AlQaeda, Boko Haram, Caucasus Emirate, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and ...
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