OAS COUNTRIES SIGN ANTITERRORISM TREATY
Member states of the Organization of American States' General Assembly signed a treaty aimed at combating terrorism in the Americas.
The treaty, The Inter-American Convention against Terrorism, was signed Monday at the General Assembly's meeting in Bridgetown, Barbados by 30 of the member states' heads of delegation. The remaining four are expected to sign as soon as their governments finalize relevant procedural arrangements.
The treaty requires member nations to:
* Be in accordance with certain international instruments by the United Nations and other international bodies.
* Institute 'a legal and regulatory regime to prevent, combat and eradicate the financing of terrorism,' covering banks and financial institutions, movement of cash and negotiable instruments across borders, and exchange of information across national and international levels.
* Provide procedures to seize or freeze funds and other assets of terrorist groups.
* Ensure rules and enforcement against money laundering.
* Cooperate on border controls and among law enforcement authorities.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, one of the signers, praised the organization for coming up with the first international treaty since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Lionel Hurst, Antigua and Barbuda's ambassador to the OAS, said a number of the subregion's parliaments have already enacted laws making terrorism 'an organic crime,' and have made a number of predicate offenses 'crimes that fall within the ambit of terrorism.'