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Anti-hijack Draft Measure Adopted

November 2, 1977
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The special Political Committee of the General Assembly today adopted by consensus a draft resolution aimed against aerial hijacking. The resolution, sponsored by 46 countries, urges improved security at airports, calls for the exchange of relevant information between nations and for ratification of three existing international conventions dealing with the safety of civil aviation. These are the Tokyo, The Hague and Montreal conventions which have been ratified, so far, by 88, 79 and 75 nations, respectively.

The final draft that will be sent to the General Assembly for consideration was modified under pressure from the Arab states by the addition of language that observers here saw as an allusion to Israel’s rescue raid at Entebbe Airport, Uganda on July 3-4, 1976.

At the insistence of the Arab states, the words “and without prejudice to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of any state” were added after the call for the “exchange of relevant information.” This was viewed as an allusion to Entebbe where Israeli forces landed without the permission of the hostile Ugandan government. The Arabs also insisted on the words “whether committed by individuals or states” in the first paragraph of the resolution that condemns aerial hijacking.

UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim expressed satisfaction with the committee’s action after the vote and said he was confident that the General Assembly will “act speedily” on the resolution. A UN spokesman said the Assembly could take up the issue as early as this Thursday. Waldheim also urged all nations to ratify the three international conventions.

The issue of aerial terrorism came to the urgent attention of the UN after the recent hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner to Mogadishu, Somalia and the murder of its pilot. The International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations (IFALPA) threatened a two-day world-wide strike unless the UN took prompt action. The strike was called off when the UN agreed to consider the issue.

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