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[Senate Treaty Document 110-4]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



110th Congress 
 1st Session                     SENATE                     Treaty Doc.
                                                                  110-4
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     

 
 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR SUPPRESSION OF ACTS OF NUCLEAR TERRORISM

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

    INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE SUPPRESSION OF ACTS OF NUCLEAR 
 TERRORISM (THE ``CONVENTION''), ADOPTED BY THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL 
 ASSEMBLY ON APRIL 13, 2005, AND SIGNED ON BEHALF OF THE UNITED STATES 
                    OF AMERICA ON SEPTEMBER 14, 2005




 July 12, 2007.--Treaty was read the first time, and together with the 
accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations and 
            ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                    The White House, July 12, 2007.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith for Senate advice and consent to 
ratification the International Convention for the Suppression 
of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (the ``Convention''), adopted by 
the United Nations General Assembly on April 13, 2005, and 
signed on behalf of the United States of America on September 
14, 2005. As of July 3, 2007, 115 countries have signed the 
Convention and 23 have submitted their instruments of 
ratification or accession. The Convention entered into force on 
July 7, 2007. I also transmit for the information of the Senate 
a report of the Department of State with respect to the 
Convention.
    The Convention imposes binding legal obligations upon 
States Parties either to submit for prosecution or to extradite 
any person within their jurisdiction who commits terrorist acts 
involving radioactive material or a nuclear device as set forth 
in Article 2 of the Convention, threatens or attempts to commit 
such an act, participates as an accomplice, organizes or 
directs others to commit such an offense, or in any other way 
contributes to the commission of such an offense by a group of 
persons acting with a common purpose, regardless of where the 
alleged act took place.
    States Parties to the Convention will also be obligated to 
provide one another legal assistance in investigations or 
criminal or extradition proceedings brought in respect of the 
offenses set forth in Article 2, in conformity with any 
treaties or other arrangements that may exist between them or 
in accordance with their national law. The recommended 
legislation necessary to implement the Convention will be 
submitted to the Congress separately.
    This Convention is important in the campaign against 
international terrorism. I recommend, therefore, that the 
Senate give early and favorable consideration to this 
Convention, subject to the understandings and reservation that 
are described in the accompanying State Department report.

                                                    George W. Bush.
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                         Washington, April 4, 2007.
The President,
The White House.
    The President: I have the honor to submit to you, with a 
view to its transmittal to the Senate for advice and consent to 
ratification, subject to the understandings and reservation set 
forth in the enclosed Overview, the International Convention 
for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (``the 
Convention'') adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 
April 13, 2005. You and President Putin of Russia signed the 
Convention on September 14, 2005, the first day it was opened 
for signature. As of March 22, 2007, 115 countries have signed 
the Convention and 18 have submitted their instruments of 
ratification. The Convention will enter into force on the 
thirtieth day after the date of deposit of the twenty-second 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.
    A detailed Overview of the provisions is enclosed with this 
Report. Recommended legislation necessary to implement the 
Convention is being prepared for separate submission to the 
Congress. The Department of Justice joins in recommending that 
this Convention be transmitted to the Senate at an early date 
for its advice and consent to ratification, subject to the 
understandings to Article 4, 10, and 12, and to the reservation 
to Article 23.
    Respectfully submitted.
                                                  Condoleezza Rice.
    Enclosure: As stated.

    International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear 
                               Terrorism


                                overview


    The following is an overview and detailed analysis of the 
provisions of the International Convention for the Suppression 
of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (``the Convention''), adopted by 
the United Nations General Assembly (``UNGA'') on April 13, 
2005 and signed on behalf of the United States of America on 
September 14, 2005.
    On December 17, 1996, the UNGA adopted resolution 51/210, 
establishing an Ad Hoc Committee tasked with creating, among 
other instruments, a convention on nuclear terrorism. 
Culminating in its ninth session, from March 28 to April 1, 
2005, the Ad Hoc Committee recommended a draft of the 
Convention to the General Assembly for adoption. The Convention 
was adopted, by consensus, by resolution 59/290 on April 13, 
2005. The President of the United States and President Putin of 
Russia signed the Convention on the first day that it was 
opened for signature at the September 2005 UNGA summit.
    As of March 22, 2007, 115 countries have signed the 
Convention and 18 have submitted their instruments of 
ratification. The Convention will enter into force on the 
thirtieth day after the date of deposit of the twenty-second 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession. 
For each country that ratifies, accepts, approves, or accedes 
to the treaty after the deposit of the twenty-second 
instrument, the Convention will enter into force on the 
thirtieth day after the date of deposit of that country's 
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or accession.
    The Convention is the first multilateral counterterrorism 
treaty adopted by the UNGA since the terrorist attacks of 
September 11, 2001. The Convention provides a legal basis for 
international cooperation in the investigation, prosecution, 
and extradition of those who commit offenses involving 
radioactive material or a nuclear device, or any device that 
may emit radiation or disperse radioactive material. In 
creating such a legal framework, the Convention follows the 
precedents set by numerous counterterrorism conventions to 
which the United States is already a party, such as the 1997 
International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist 
Bombings (``Terrorist Bombings Convention'') and the 1999 
International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing 
of Terrorism (``Terrorism Financing Convention''). Like those 
earlier conventions, this new Convention requires Parties to 
criminalize under their domestic laws certain types of 
offenses, and also requires Parties to extradite or submit for 
prosecution persons accused of committing, attempting to 
commit, or aiding in the commission of such offenses. The 
Convention also provides for the safekeeping and return to one 
of several appropriate States Parties of radioactive material, 
devices, and nuclear facilities.
    Articles 1 and 2 together serve to define the offenses 
covered by the Convention, with Article 1 incorporating several 
definitions of phrases used in Article 2. A ``device'' includes 
any nuclear explosive device, as well as any device that may 
emit radiation or disperse radioactive material that may, owing 
to its radiological properties, cause death, serious bodily 
injury, or substantial damage to property or the environment. A 
``nuclear facility'' includes nuclear reactors as well as 
facilities for the production, storage, processing, or 
transport of radioactive material.
    Paragraph 1 of Article 2 describes two categories of 
principal offenses. First, any person commits an offense under 
the Convention if that person unlawfully and intentionally 
possesses radioactive material or makes or possesses a device, 
as defined in Article 1 above, with the intent either to cause 
death or serious bodily injury, or to cause substantial damage 
to property or to the environment. Second, any person commits 
an offense under the Convention if he or she unlawfully and 
intentionally uses radioactive material or a device or uses or 
damages a nuclear facility in a manner that releases or risks 
the release of radioactive material, with the intent either to 
cause death or serious bodily injury, or to cause substantial 
damage to property or to the environment, or to compel a 
natural or legal person, an international organization, or a 
State to do or refrain from doing an act.
    The Convention also provides for a range of ancillary 
offenses. Paragraph 2 of Article 2 provides that any person 
also commits an offense if that person credibly threatens to 
commit an offense as set forth in Paragraph 1 or demands by 
credible threat radioactive material, a device, or nuclear 
facility. The inclusion of ``threats'' as an ancillary offense 
is new with this Convention, and is fully warranted by the 
grave nature of the harm threatened. The threat provision is 
formulated in a manner that is compatible with threat offenses 
in U.S. law. There are additional ancillary offenses that are 
present in the prior counterterrorism conventions. Paragraph 3 
provides that any person commits an offense if he or she 
attempts an offense as set forth in Paragraph 1. Paragraph 4 
further provides that any person commits an offense if that 
person participates as an accomplice in an offense under 
Paragraphs 1, 2, or 3, organizes or directs others to commit 
such an offense, or in any other way contributes to the 
commission of one or more offenses under Paragraphs 1, 2, or 3 
by a group of persons acting with a common purpose. These 
ancillary offenses will strengthen the ability of the 
international community to investigate, prosecute, and 
extradite those who conspire or otherwise contribute to the 
commission of offenses defined in the Convention.
    There is no separate offense for dumping of radioactive 
waste, if done without the relevant criminal intent specified 
in Article 2( 1) of the Convention. Although a few delegations 
tried to broaden the offense provisions to include dumping, the 
United States and other nuclear powers succeeded in resisting 
this expansion on the grounds that it was better addressed in 
environmental conventions and that such a provision would be 
outside the focus on the terrorist acts that form the basis of 
the Convention.
    Article 3 makes most of the Convention's provisions 
inapplicable to offenses that lack an international aspect. In 
generally limiting its scope of application to those cases 
involving elements from more than one State, the Convention 
follows the precedent set by prior counterterrorism 
conventions, such as the Terrorist Bombings Convention, the 
1971 Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against 
the Safety of Civil Aviation, and the 1979 Convention Against 
the Taking of Hostages.
    Article 4(1) provides that nothing in the Convention shall 
affect other rights, obligations, and responsibilities of 
States and individuals under international law and follows 
corresponding provisions in the Terrorist Bombings Convention 
and the Terrorism Financing Convention.
    Paragraph 2 of Article 4 contains two important exceptions 
from the scope of the Convention relating to activities of 
armed forces and military forces of a State. Under the first 
exception, the Convention does not apply to the activities of 
``armed forces during an armed conflict,'' where such 
activities are governed by international humanitarian law. This 
exception is identical to the one found in the Terrorist 
Bombings Convention, and is meant to exclude from the 
Convention's scope the activities of armed forces, so long as 
those activities are in the course of an ``armed conflict'' and 
are governed by international humanitarian law, also known as 
the ``law of war.'' Given that suspected offenders may claim 
the benefit of this ``armed conflict'' exception to avoid 
extradition or prosecution under the Convention, it would be 
useful for the United States to articulate an understanding 
similar to the one issued with respect to the Terrorist 
Bombings Convention regarding the scope of this exception. In 
this respect, an appropriate source of authority would be the 
widely accepted provision in Paragraph 2 of Article 1 of the 
1977 Geneva Protocol II Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 
August 12, 1949, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of 
Non-International Armed Conflicts (``Additional Protocol II''), 
concluded at Geneva on June 8, 1977, which President Reagan 
transmitted to the Senate on January 29, 1987, for advice and 
consent to ratification. Specifically, Additional Protocol II, 
which applies to non-international armed conflicts, treats 
situations of ``internal disturbances and tensions, such as 
riots, isolated and sporadic acts of violence, and other acts 
of a similar nature'' as not being armed conflicts. Through an 
understanding, the United States would make clear that isolated 
acts of violence that include the elements of the offenses in 
Article 2 would be encompassed in the scope of the Convention, 
and would not fall within the first exception discussed above.
    As a separate matter, the term ``international humanitarian 
law'' is not used by the United States armed forces and could 
be subject to varied interpretations. It therefore would be 
useful for the United States to articulate in an understanding 
that, for the purposes of this Convention, this phrase has the 
same substantive meaning as the phrase ``law of war.'' I 
therefore recommend that the following understandings to 
Article 4 be included in the United States instrument of 
ratification:
          (1) The United States of America understands that the 
        term ``armed conflict'' in Article 4 of the Convention 
        does not include situations of internal disturbances 
        and tensions, such as riots, isolated and sporadic acts 
        of violence, and other acts of a similar nature;
          (2) The United States of America understands that the 
        term ``international humanitarian law'' in Article 4 of 
        the Convention has the same substantive meaning as the 
        law of war.
    The second exception in Paragraph 2 of Article 4 also is 
identical to one found in the Terrorist Bombings Convention and 
exempts from the Convention's scope of application the 
activities undertaken by military forces of a State in the 
exercise of their official duties. The official activities of 
State military forces are already comprehensively governed by 
other bodies of international law, such as the international 
instruments relating to the law of war and the international 
law of state responsibility. The comprehensive exclusion of 
official activities of State military forces from the 
Convention's scope was an important U.S. objective in 
negotiating the text of this Convention. While such an 
exclusion might be thought to be implicit in the context of the 
Convention, the Convention's negotiators thought it best to 
articulate the exclusion expressly in light of the relatively 
broad nature of the conduct described in Article 2 and the fact 
that this conduct overlaps with activities of State military 
forces.
    The conduct of certain civilians who act in support of 
official activities of State military forces are also exempted 
from the Convention's scope of application. The phrase 
``military forces of a State'' is defined broadly in Paragraph 
6 of Article I as meaning ``the armed forces of a State which 
are organized, trained, and equipped under its internal law for 
the primary purpose of national defense or security and persons 
acting in support of those armed forces who are under their 
formal command, control, and responsibility.'' In addition, 
because the Convention does not reach the official activities 
of State military forces, it similarly does not reach persons, 
including non-military policy-making officials of States, who 
might direct or organize the activities of State military 
forces or who might otherwise have been subject to the 
ancillary offenses in Article 2 if State military forces had 
not been excluded from the Convention's scope of application. 
Because of the importance of this provision, I recommend that 
the following understanding to Article 4, which builds on an 
understanding made with respect to the corresponding provision 
in the Terrorist Bombings Convention, be included in the United 
States instrument of ratification:
          The United States of America understands that, 
        pursuant to Article 4 and Article 1(6), the Convention 
        does not apply to:
                  (a) the military forces of a State in the 
                exercise of their official duties;
                  (b) civilians who direct or organize the 
                official activities of military forces of a 
                State; or
                  (c) civilians acting in support of the 
                official activities of the military forces of a 
                State, if the civilians are under the formal 
                command, control, and responsibility of those 
                forces.
    Paragraph 3 of Article 4 clarifies that nothing in the 
prior provisions is intended to condone or to make lawful 
otherwise unlawful acts or to preclude otherwise lawful 
prosecution. Finally, in a provision that confirms the view of 
the United States, Paragraph 4 provides that the Convention 
does not address, nor can it be interpreted as addressing, in 
any way, the issue of the legality of the use or threat of use 
of nuclear weapons by States.
    Article 5 requires States Parties to make the offenses 
enumerated in Article 2 criminal offenses punishable under 
their domestic laws by appropriate penalties that take into 
account their grave nature. It follows precedents in the 
Terrorist Bombings Convention and the Terrorism Financing 
Convention.
    Article 6 requires States Parties to adopt any measures 
that may be necessary to ensure the criminal offenses under the 
Convention, in particular where they are intended or calculated 
to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a 
group of persons or particular persons, are under no 
circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, 
philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious, or other 
similar nature and are punished by penalties consistent with 
their grave nature. It follows a corresponding provision in the 
Terrorist Bombings Convention.
    Article 7 establishes the basis for cooperation between 
States in the prevention of offenses under the Convention. 
States Parties must take all practicable measures to prevent 
and counter-preparations in their own territories for an 
offense under the Convention, including measures to prohibit in 
their territories illegal activities of persons, groups, and 
organizations that encourage, instigate, organize, knowingly 
finance, or knowingly provide technical assistance or 
information or engage in the perpetration of offenses.
    Article 7 also adds significantly to prior counterterrorism 
conventions in the realm of information sharing. States Parties 
undertake to exchange accurate and verified information in 
accordance with their national law, in particular when 
information is available concerning the commission and 
preparation of offenses set forth under Article 2, unless doing 
so would violate national law or jeopardize the security of the 
concerned State or the physical protection of nuclear material. 
Paragraph 2 requires States Parties to take steps consistent 
with their national law to ensure the confidentiality of 
information received in confidence from another State Party or 
during an activity carried out to implement the Convention. 
Each State Party is to inform the Secretary-General of the 
United Nations of its competent authorities and liaison points 
responsible for sending and receiving the information referred 
to in Article 7(4). For the United States, these roles will be 
performed by the Operations Center of the Department of State.
    Article 8 encourages States Parties to make every effort to 
adopt appropriate measures to ensure the protection of 
radioactive material, taking into account relevant 
recommendations and functions of the International Atomic 
Energy Agency (IAEA).
    Under Article 9, each State Party must establish its 
jurisdiction over the offenses set forth in Article 2 when the 
offense is committed in its territory; on board a vessel flying 
the flag of that State or an aircraft registered under its laws 
at the time the offense is committed; or where the offense was 
committed by a national of that State. Each State Party has 
discretion to establish jurisdiction over offenses set forth in 
Article 2 where the offense is committed against a national of 
that State; against a State or government facility of that 
State abroad, including an embassy or other diplomatic or 
consular premises of that State; by a stateless person who has 
his or her habitual residence in the territory of that State; 
in an attempt to compel that State to do or abstain from doing 
any act; or on board an aircraft that is operated by the 
Government of that State. Upon becoming a party to the 
Convention, a State must notify the United Nations Secretary-
General of the jurisdiction it has established under its 
domestic law. Moreover, any changes to this jurisdiction must 
be immediately notified to the Secretary-General. In addition, 
a State must take measures, including establishing appropriate 
jurisdiction, to prosecute offenders present in its territory 
if the State does not extradite them. None of the 
jurisdictional provisions of the Convention excludes the 
exercise of any criminal jurisdiction established by a State 
Party in accordance with its own national law.
    Under the terms of Article 9, States Parties may enact a 
broad array of jurisdictional bases over the offenses 
enumerated in Article 2. Of significant interest and value to 
the United States, which has many government facilities outside 
of U.S. territory, is the Convention's recognition of 
jurisdiction over attacks against a State or government 
facility of that State abroad, including an embassy or other 
diplomatic or consular premises. This would give the United 
States internationally recognized jurisdiction based on this 
Convention to prosecute in U.S. courts the perpetrators and 
organizers of such attacks on all U.S. Government facilities 
abroad, as well as military installations. In addition to the 
foregoing jurisdictional bases, which correspond to those in 
the Terrorist Bombings Convention, is the provision in Article 
9 allowing States Parties to establish jurisdiction over 
offenses committed in an attempt to compel a State to do or 
abstain from doing any act. This provision, which is also of 
significant interest and value to the United States, provides 
jurisdiction over offenses under this Convention where 
terrorists seek to coerce State action even where a national or 
facility of that State is not the target of the attack. Upon 
becoming a party to the Convention, a State must notify the 
United Nations Secretary-General of the jurisdiction it has 
established under its domestic law.
    As in the Terrorist Bombings Convention and Terrorism 
Finance Convention, Article 10 includes provisions relating to 
alleged offenders arrested or detained for the purpose of 
extradition or prosecution.
    Paragraph 1 of Article 10 requires States Parties to take 
necessary measures under their national law to investigate any 
information received that an offense has been committed or is 
being committed in the territory of a State Party or that the 
offender or alleged offender may be present in its territory. 
Paragraph 2 requires the State Party to ensure an alleged 
offender's presence for the purpose of prosecution or 
extradition. Paragraph 3 ensures that alleged offenders who are 
arrested or detained are able to communicate without delay with 
the appropriate representative of the State of which they are a 
national, or of a State otherwise entitled to protect them 
(e.g., a protecting power), or, if they are stateless, the 
State of habitual residence. The rights set forth in Paragraph 
3 must be exercised in conformity with the laws and regulations 
of the State in the territory of which the offender or alleged 
offender is present, subject to the provision that the said 
laws and regulations must enable full effect to be given to the 
purposes for which the rights accorded under Paragraph 3 are 
intended. Upon ratification and entry into force, this 
Convention would supplement other treaties on the same subject, 
such as the Vienna Convention on Consular Rights or any 
applicable bilateral agreement on consular relations. These 
obligations are essentially coterminous except in the case of 
stateless persons, which the consular treaties do not address.
    Article 10, like the Convention as a whole, as well as 
other similar counterterrorism conventions, is not intended to 
create judicially enforceable rights. To avoid any unnecessary 
disputes with our treaty partners, I recommend that an 
understanding on this point, with respect to both Articles 10 
and 12, be included in the United States instrument of 
ratification. The suggested text of the understanding is set 
forth following the discussion of Article 12.
    In a provision of crucial importance for the Convention and 
the United States, which is consistent with corresponding 
provisions in prior counterterrorism conventions, Paragraph 1 
of Article 11 declares that a State Party that does not 
extradite an alleged offender found in its territory shall, 
``without exception whatsoever and whether or not the offense 
was committed in its territory,'' submit the case to its 
competent authorities for purposes of prosecution, through 
proceedings in accordance with the laws of that State. Those 
authorities are obligated to take their decision in the same 
manner as in the case of any other offense of a grave nature 
under the law of that State.
    Consistent with prior counterterrorism conventions, 
Paragraph 2 of Article 11 declares that the obligation in 
Paragraph 1 to extradite or submit for prosecution can be 
discharged by the temporary transfer of nationals for trial in 
another country by those States Parties that cannot otherwise 
extradite their nationals, provided both the Requesting and 
Requested States agree. Any sentence imposed would be served in 
the surrendering State. This provision on temporary transfer of 
nationals for trial is a useful recognition of this practice by 
the international community in a binding multilateral legal 
instrument.
    Consistent with prior counterterrorism conventions, Article 
12 requires States Parties to guarantee to persons taken into 
custody for the offenses set forth in Article 2 fair treatment, 
including enjoyment of all rights and guarantees in conformity 
with the law of the State in the territory of which that person 
is present and applicable provisions of international law, 
including international human rights law. Like Article 10 
above, this Article is not intended to create judicially 
enforceable rights. I therefore recommend that the following 
understanding with respect to Articles 10 and 12 be included in 
the United States instrument of ratification:

          The United States of America understands that 
        Articles 10 and 12 impose no obligation on the United 
        States to provide any individual remedy within its 
        judicial system for any person who alleges a violation 
        of those articles or any other terms of this 
        Convention.

    Consistent with prior counterterrorism conventions, 
paragraph 1 of Article 13 amends existing extradition treaties 
between States Parties to include the offenses defined in 
Article 2 as extraditable offenses and provides that States 
Parties shall undertake, in subsequent extradition treaties, to 
include the offenses set forth in Article 2 as extraditable 
offenses. Paragraph 2 allows States Parties that make 
extradition conditional on the existence of a treaty providing 
for extradition between the Parties to utilize the Convention 
to serve as an independent legal basis for extradition between 
States Parties without an independent extradition treaty. It is 
a longstanding United States policy to extradite fugitives only 
to States with which the United States has a bilateral 
extradition treaty. Thus, we do not expect that the Convention 
will serve as an independent legal basis for extradition from 
the United States.
    Consistent with prior counterterrorism conventions, Article 
14 establishes general mutual legal assistance obligations 
between States Parties in connection with investigation or 
criminal or extradition proceedings brought in respect of the 
offenses in Article 2.
    Article 15 provides that none of the offenses set forth in 
Article 2 shall be regarded, for the purposes of extradition or 
mutual legal assistance, as a political offense or an offense 
connected with a political offense or as an offense inspired by 
political motives. Accordingly, a request for extradition or 
mutual legal assistance may not be refused solely on such 
grounds. This Article applies to extradition and mutual legal 
assistance requests involving the offenses in Article 2, and 
provides a useful narrowing of the political offense exception 
in such cases. Many modern U.S. bilateral extradition treaties 
already contain provisions that bar application of the 
political offense exception to extradition with respect to 
offenses under multilateral conventions to which ``prosecute or 
extradite'' obligations apply. This provision builds on this 
trend by making the restriction on the invocation of the 
political offense exception for requests based on offenses 
under Article 2 a matter of general application rather than 
dependent on the terms of individual bilateral law enforcement 
treaties between the Parties. Corresponding provisions are 
found in the Terrorist Bombings Convention and the Terrorism 
Financing Convention.
    Article 16 provides that nothing in the Convention shall be 
interpreted as imposing an obligation to extradite or to afford 
mutual legal assistance if the requested State Party has 
substantial grounds for believing that the request for 
extradition for offenses set forth in Article 2 or for mutual 
legal assistance with respect to such offenses has been made 
for the purpose of prosecuting or punishing a person on account 
of that person's race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, or 
political opinion, or that compliance with the request would 
cause prejudice to that person's position for any of these 
reasons. This Article is similar to provisions already included 
in many bilateral extradition treaties and corresponds to 
provisions in the Terrorist Bombings Convention and the 
Terrorism Financing Convention.
    Article 17 provides and establishes various conditions for 
the temporary transfer to one State Party, for purposes of 
assistance under the Convention, of a person in custody in 
another State Party, provided that the person in question 
consents and the competent authorities of both States Parties 
agree. This provision is included in prior counterterrorism 
treaties and is similar to provisions found in virtually all of 
the bilateral mutual legal assistance treaties to which the 
United States is a party.
    Article 18 provides for the safekeeping and return of 
radioactive material, devices, and nuclear facilities. Upon 
seizing or otherwise taking control of any radioactive 
material, devices, or nuclear facility, following the 
commission of an offense, a State Party must take steps to 
render it harmless, ensure that any nuclear material is held in 
accordance with applicable IAEA safeguards, and have regard to 
physical protection recommendations and health and safety 
standards published by the IAEA. Following the completion of 
any proceedings connected with an offense set forth in Article 
2, any radioactive material, device, or nuclear facility must 
be returned to the State Party to which it belongs, the State 
Party of which the person owning such radioactive material, 
device, or nuclear facility is a national or resident, or to 
the State Party from whose territory it was stolen or otherwise 
unlawfully obtained. Article 18 also establishes procedures for 
the handling of such material when no originating State exists 
or when a particular State cannot lawfully return, possess, or 
accept the material.
    Article 19 requires the State Party in which the alleged 
offender is prosecuted to notify the United Nations Secretary-
General of the final outcome of criminal proceedings relating 
to offenses under the Convention. Article 20 requires States 
Parties to conduct consultations with one another directly or 
through the United Nations Secretary-General to ensure the 
effective implementation of the Convention. Article 21 provides 
that States Parties shall carry out their obligations under the 
Convention in a manner consistent with the principles of 
sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and that 
of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other States. 
Articles 19 and 21 follow corresponding provisions in the 
Terrorist Bombings Convention and the Terrorism Financing 
Convention.
    Consistent with provisions in the Terrorist Bombings 
Convention and the Terrorism Financing Convention, Article 22 
provides that nothing in the Convention entitles a State Party 
to undertake in the territory of another State Party the 
exercise of jurisdiction and performance of functions that are 
exclusively reserved for the authorities of that other State 
Party by its domestic law.
    Paragraph 1 of Article 23 provides that disputes between 
two or more States Parties concerning the interpretation or 
application of the Convention that cannot be settled through 
negotiation within a reasonable time shall be submitted at the 
request of one of them to arbitration, or, failing agreement on 
the organization of such arbitration, to the International 
Court of Justice. Paragraph 2 provides that a State may make a 
declaration excluding this dispute-resolution obligation at the 
time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval, or 
accession. In October 1985, the United States withdrew its 
declaration under Article 36 of the Statute of the 
International Court of Justice accepting the compulsory 
jurisdiction of the Court. Consistent with that action, I 
recommend that the following reservation to Paragraph 1 of 
Article 23 be included in the United States instrument of 
ratification:
          (a) Pursuant to Article 23(2) of the Convention, the 
        United States of America declares that it does not 
        consider itself bound by Article 23(1) of the 
        Convention; and
          (b) The United States of America reserves the right 
        specifically to agree in a particular case to follow 
        the arbitration procedure set forth in Article 23(1) of 
        the Convention or any other procedure for arbitration.
    This reservation would allow the United States to agree to 
adjudication by a Chamber of the Court in a particular case, if 
that were deemed desirable. The United States filed similar 
reservations with respect to the dispute settlement provisions 
in the Terrorist Bombings Convention and the Terrorism 
Financing Convention.
    As detailed in Article 25, the Convention will enter into 
force on the thirtieth day following the date of deposit of the 
twenty-second instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, 
or accession with the United Nations Secretary-General. 
Pursuant to Article 27, a State Party to the Convention may 
denounce it by written notice to the United Nations Secretary-
General. Denunciation will take effect one year from the date 
of receipt of the notification by the United Nations Secretary-
General.