Terrorism – is there any working global frameworks to counter it?
By Zuzanna Sadowska
On the 22nd of September 2003 Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, organized a conference “Fighting Terrorism for Humanity” in New York City. He opened the summit with words: “Terrorism will only be defeated if we act to solve the political disputes or long-standing conflicts that generate support for it. (…) If we do not, we should find ourselves acting as recruiting sergeants for the very terrorists. We have to win hearts and minds.” The causes of terrorism may be inter alia historical, economical, religious or ideological, and there is no way to entirely eliminate it from our world. Preventing terrorism ...view middle of the document...
He divides them into encyclopaedic, normative and political definitions. “In spite of this, or just for that reason, all attempts to develop a definition of terrorism that would meet methodological criteria required in such circumstances and would be acceptable by the politicians, scientists and lawyers, thus the environments declaring the need for it for many years, ended up with failure so far. The reason is not an incompetence of people taking these attempts but excessive politicization and treatment not only manifestations of terrorism, but also “circumstances surrounding” (in this case: the definition), in terms of political or ideological struggle with real and even imaginary enemy” - Krzysztof Karolczak notes in his book.
The Polish penal code there is no such a word as “terrorism”. The legislature did not want to define the concept, being afraid of related problems. Instead of that, the description focused on terrorism-related offenses, which are called the crimes of a terrorist nature. These are prohibited acts punishable by imprisonment of a maximum of at least five years, committed in order to:
1) serious intimidation a lot of people,
2) compel a public authority of the Republic of Poland or another state or an organ of an international organization to perform or abstain certain actions,
3) cause serious disturbances in the system or economy of Poland, another state or international organization - as well as threats to commit such an act.
Article 165a, in turn, refers to the financing of terrorism: “Who collects, transmits or provides means of payment, financial instruments, securities, foreign currency values, property rights or other movable or immovable property in order to finance a terrorist offense is being punished by imprisonment of 2 to 12 years. Participation in an organized terrorist group equals from 6 months to 8 years of imprisonment, while its founding and directing at least three years in prison.”
According to the League of Nations Convention from 1937, terrorism is: “All criminal action against countries whose goal is to create a state of terror in the minds of people, groups of people or society.”
After the war, United Nations attempted to define terrorism. Unfortunately it faced numerous problems, which prevented that. During the Cold War, terrorism has become one of the methods of struggle between the empires and often the only weapon of liberation movements. Especially great emotions aroused as a result of a discussion on this topic after the murder of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. The Arab, Asian and African claimed that the condemnation of terrorism is a condemnation of all liberation movements and consent to the stronger power over the weak. Yasser Arafat in a similar veil. Many countries, such as Algeria, Cyprus and Israel indirectly owe their independence to nationalist terrorist organizations. For this reason, UN today has not developed one, coherent definition of terrorism....