Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism

2021 MAY 5

Mains   > Security   >   Development and Extremism   >   Terrorism


  • At the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India highlighted the importance and need for early finalization and conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT)


  • The Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism is a proposed treaty which intends to criminalize all forms of international terrorism and deny terrorists, their financiers and supporters’ access to funds, arms, and safe havens.
  • It was proposed first by India in 1996.
  • India has been pushing for the treaty consistently, particularly in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai attacks
  • But as of 2021 consensus has not yet been reached for the adoption of the convention.


  • To have a universal definition of terrorism that all 193-members of the UN General Assembly will adopt into their own criminal law.
  • To ban all terror groups and shut down terror camps.
  • To prosecute all terrorists under special laws.
  • To make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide.


  • Facilitate arriving at a universally accepted definition of terrorism:
    • The convention aims to in-corporates a single, all-encompassing, legally binding, criminal law definition of terrorism.
    • Clarity of definition of terrorism will help in delinking terror and religion.
  • Ensure criminalization of all forms of terrorism:
    • It will ensure criminalization of all forms of international terrorism, without differentiating between good or bad terrorists.
  • Curb and criminalize terror financing
    • It will deny terrorists, their financiers, and supporters access to funds, arms, and safe havens.
  • Impose legal obligation on the signatory countries
    • To control terrorist activities within their countries >> Hence, controlling state sponsored terrorism.
  • Ensure prosecution:
    • Ensure prosecution of all terrorists under special, internationally accepted laws.
  • Helps in tackling cross-bordering terrorism:
    • Serve to make cross-border terrorism an extraditable offence worldwide, making it difficult for terrorists for sheltering in countries.
  • Curb front organizations which support terror groups:
    • Ng Enable identification and isolation of those who support and sponsor terrorism, and furthering support to those in fight against terrorism.
  • Facilitate international cooperation:
    • Facilitate international cooperation in intelligence gathering and sharing.


  • Ratification of the CCIT remains deadlocked, mainly due to opposition   from three main blocs:
    • US and NATO members:
      • Concerns have been raised over the definition of terrorism.
      • The U.S. has been worried about the application of the CCIT to its own military forces especially with regard to interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    • Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries:
      • The OIC countries feel that the convention will be used to target Pakistan and will restrict the rights of self-determination groups in Palestine, Kashmir and elsewhere in the world.
    • South American countries:
      • Latin American countries have raised their concern over international humanitarian laws as they fear that it will affect the implementation of their domestic laws.


  • To accommodate concerns of the countries, following changes can be incorporated:
    • Draft may clarify that "the activities of armed forces during an armed conflict" will not be governed by the present convention.
    • Exclusion of national liberation movements, especially in the context of Israel-Palestinian conflict.
  • Creation of informal groupings for issuing sanctions:
    • Efforts should be made for creation of informal groupings of likeminded countries for issuing sanctions against terror financing nations.


Q. ‘Absence of a global convention against terrorism had been largely exploited by the terror-exporting states’. In this context analyze the need for adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism?