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Conference on Hijacking Due Next Month; UN Condemns Hijacking by 99-0 Vote

The work of the international conference on hijacking in The Hague in December will be eased by the General Assembly’s 99-0 approval of a resolution condemning air hijacking and other interference with civil air travel. The 34-power draft was voted on as the Assembly ended its consideration of the matter last week. United Nations observers noted the significance of not on the overwhelming vote but the assent to the draft by three major Arab states–Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. The late Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser gave a hug-and-kiss reception to the members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine who had hijacked air passengers to Jordan. The 10 nations abstaining on the vote were Algeria, Cuba, Guinea. Iraq. Libya, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Southern Yemen, Syria and Yemen. There were 18 absentees.

The resolution condemns “without exception whatsoever” all acts of aerial interference; calls on states to deter, prevent or suppress such acts and to prosecute and punish the transgressors or extradite them; urges states to care for passengers and crew diverted to their territories, effect their quick freedom, and return planes and cargo to their rightful owners; calls on states to see to it that those hijacked “are not used as a means of extorting advantage of any kind”; and recommends ratification or accession to the 1963 Tokyo Convention of air offenses and a meaningful resolution at The Hague. The 34 sponsors of the draft included Belgium, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Finland. Iran, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

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