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OAS Anti-Terrorism Treaty About to Enter into Force

A U.S.-supported inter-American treaty against terrorism is about to go into effect, says the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS said June 10 a sixth country — Nicaragua — had ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, which aims to prevent, punish, and eliminate terrorism. Six member nations of the OAS were needed to ratify the treaty before it could go into force in 30 days. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has praised the OAS for producing the first international treaty since the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States “targeted at improving our ability to combat terrorism.” Powell said that “more than ever before, the Americas stand together today against terrorism and for democracy. There can be no doubt of our resolve.” Powell, who signed the treaty for the United States in June 2002, also applauded improved inter-American cooperation in intelligence sharing and other areas since the September 11 attacks. At his confirmation hearing June 3 to be U.S. Permanent Representative to the OAS, John Maisto said the adoption of “this major international treaty” against terrorism “defies the conventional wisdom that the OAS is long on words and short on action.” Full Story

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