Setback in UN on Terrorism Issue

Israeli circles described today as a “setback” the decision yesterday afternoon by the Sixth (Legal) Committee to place the issue of international terrorism sixth on its nine-point agenda. Israel backed the United States attempt to have terrorism declared a priority item, and thus to be dealt with “immediately and effectively.”

The Israeli circles also regretted the Sixth Committee’s decision that the chairman should consult with delegations on how to proceed on the terrorism issue. They further regretted adoption of a Mauritanian amendment–by a vote of 98-1 with seven abstentions–asking the Secretariat to prepare a detailed study on terrorism and its causes. The negative vote was cast by Colombia. The Israeli circles called these developments part of “a continuous campaign to bury the item on terrorism.”

The final vote to place terrorism sixth was 82-0 with 24 abstentions which included the US and 26 absentees. The vote followed three days of debate in which the US led an unsuccessful drive to have terrorism deemed a priority problem while Britain, Canada, the Soviet Union, the Arab states and others sought various degrees of compromise on priority. Barring a filibuster, it was believed that the committee would consider terrorism late next month or in Nov.

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