771st meeting – 31 October 2001
Multidisciplinary [Legal] Group on [international] Terrorism (GMT)
Draft terms of reference
The Deputies approved the specific terms of reference of the Multidisciplinary [Legal] Group on [International] terrorism (GMT), as contained in Appendix….of the present volume of Decisions, in view of their formal adoption by the Committee of Ministers at its 109th Session on 8 November 2001.
[Proposal by Portugal for an additional Decision:
The Deputies also decided to make available to the United Nations the know-how and the experience of the Council of Europe, namely through its participation in the relevant work of this Organisation concerning the preparation of the general Convention on Terrorism.]
Ad hoc terms of reference
1. Name of Committee: MULTIDISCIPLINARY [LEGAL] GROUP ON [INTERNATIONAL] TERRORISM (GMT)
2. Type of committee: Committee of experts
3. Source of terms of reference: Committee of Ministers
4. Duration of terms of reference: [31 December 2002] [30 June 2002] 1
5. Terms of reference:
Terms of reference
Taking into account:
- the standards of the Council of Europe in the fields of Human Rights and the Rule of Law,
- the Declaration adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 12 September 2001 and its Decision of 21 September 2001,
- Resolution 1258 (2001) and Recommendation 1534 (2001), adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly on 26 September 2001,
- Resolution N° 1 adopted by the European Ministers of Justice at their 24th Conference (Moscow, 4-5 October 2001)
- the work of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) and in co-ordination with these Committees,
- the work of other international institutions active in this field (e.g. European Union, United Nations) and adopting a positive approach to co-operation and co-ordination with such bodies,
the Group is to:
- ensure the follow-up in the legal field to the Declaration adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 12 September 2001 and contained in the Appendix to these terms of reference;
- ensure a coherent and co-ordinated approach by taking due account of the activities of bodies working within the Council of Europe, such as the Committee of Experts on the Operation on European Conventions in the Penal Field (PC-OC), and within other international fora and by working in close co-operation with them;
- review the operation of, and to examine the possibility of updating, existing Council of Europe international instruments applicable to the fight against terrorism, in particular the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism, in view also of a possible opening of the Convention to non-member States, and the other relevant instruments 2 3 ;
- report to the Committee of Ministers if need be and to prepare a Progress Report to the Ministers’ Deputies in time for its presentation for the Committee of Ministers at its 110th Session (Vilnius, May 2002) on the action which the Council of Europe could usefully carry out in the field of the fight against terrorism, taking account of the work carried out in other international bodies (in particular the United Nations and the OSCE) and within the European Union 4 , [and, if necessary, propose the elaboration of new instruments and follow up mechanisms in this field] 5 6 ;
- exchange views in the context of the work of the Council of Europe on conventions on terrorism under preparation within the United Nations [with a view to facilitating the desired convergence and coherence of the positions of member States] 7 8 ;
6. Membership of the Committee:
a. States whose governments are entitled to appoint members: all member States.
b. Number of members from each State whose travelling and subsistence expenses are borne by the Council of Europe budget: 1 per member State.
c. Desirable qualifications of persons serving on the Committee: experts with a detailed knowledge of legal or financial questions concerning terrorism.
d. Three scientific experts to be appointed by the Secretary General.
e. One representative of each of the following: European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC), European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), Steering Committee for Human Rights (CDDH) and the Committee of Experts on the Operation on European Conventions in the Penal Field (PC-OC)
a. Observer States to the Council of Europe and applicant States for Council of Europe membership.
b. The following international organisations and bodies: OECD, United Nations, ICPO-Interpol, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), International Commission on Civil Status, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
8. Other participants:
European Commission and Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union.
9. Working methods: - The GMT will carry out its work under the auspices of the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), the European Committee on Crime Problems (CDPC) and the Steering Committee on Human Rights (CDDH) and in contact with the Presidency of the Committee of Ministers and the Secretary General.
Appendix to the draft terms of reference of the GMT
COUNCIL OF EUROPE
COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
Declaration of the Committee of Ministers
on the fight against international terrorism
(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers
on 12 September 2001
at the 763rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
1. The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe condemns with the utmost force the terrorist attacks of unprecedented violence committed against the American people, to whom it expresses sympathy and solidarity.
These crimes do not strike only the United States but affect us all. These barbaric acts violate human rights, in particular the right to life, democracy and the search for peace.
Such monstrous acts demand resolute reaction from all states committed to uphold civilised values.
The Council of Europe, which unites the continent around these values, has a particular interest and responsibility to contribute to such a reaction.
2. The Committee of Ministers decides to hold a special meeting on 21 September with the following agenda:
i. strengthening of the fight against terrorism, using the specific expertise and instruments of the Council of Europe, and improving the mechanisms and means for co-operation with other international organisations and the Observer states;
ii. inviting the member states to give increased effectiveness to the existing pan-European co-operation, for example, to accede, where they have not done so, to conventions on mutual assistance in criminal matters;
iii. examining the scope for updating the European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism;
iv. the inclusion of the fight against terrorism in the Council of Europe’s integrated project on the struggle against violence in everyday life in a democratic society.