WASHINGTON (Jan. 31)
The United States, expressing “a quite mixed reaction” to the results of the discussions on skyjacking by the legal committee of the International Civil Aviation Organization, said today it was looking forward to the diplomatic conference next Aug. in Amsterdam for “some movement” against international air terror. The committee adjourned yesterday in Montreal after failing to adopt an international convention, proposed by the U.S. which would bring multinational boycotts against nations harboring sky pirates.
State Department spokesman Charles Bray said the U.S. is “disappointed that it was not possible for the committee to discharge the mandate of the ICAO council” to draft the boycott convention. “We are modestly but only modestly satisfied,” Bray added, that in the closing days the legal committee undertook to forward to the Amsterdam conference four proposals for “security in the skies.”
One of the proposals, advanced by “some Nordic states,” Bray said, is for an independent convention which would establish fact-finding machinery if a state violated any one of three existing conventions: Tokyo, Montreal and Hague conventions regarding sabotage, hijacking and extradition of skyjackers. The United States does not consider them sufficient to combat air piracy effectively. Bray said. The fact finding proposal. Bray said, “does go down the road a bit to subjecting states to action on aerial piracy.”
He added that the U.S. acknowledged that “despite our best efforts and those of others, particularly Canada and the United Kingdom” its proposal “never attracted substantial international support.” The Amsterdam conference was called by the 124-nation ICAO. The Senate is to consider a bill which provides strong anti-skyjacking measures in the U.S. and authorizes the President to impose international boycotts unilaterally. The administration, however, is opposed to unilateral or secondary boycotts by the U.S. alone.