The UN Hostages Convention: Drafting and Launch

  • Bernhard Blumenau


As the previous chapter has demonstrated, the first half of the 1970s produced mixed results in terms of antiterrorism efforts at the United Nations (UN). While the Diplomats Convention was successfully adopted in almost record-breaking time, the other projects appeared less promising. The Ad Hoc Committee on international terrorism not only failed to produce a convention that met the expectations of Germany and the other Western countries but it also continued to linger on the verge of adopting a text that could potentially legitimise certain acts of terrorism. Moreover, the Belgian initiative on hostage-taking was very short-lived, and Germany’s plans in 1975 to propose a project against terrorism never went further than the early planning stage. Yet the UN, as the most global organisation, was the most suitable for developing efficient antiterrorism instruments, while at the same time being the entity that was most prone to complicated and potentially dangerous negotiations. By the mid-1970s, Bonn became more eager to be recognised as a global player and to increase its international prestige, as these chapters will show. This idea was particularly dear to Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher but also to Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. The UN was the perfect stage for implementing these goals. Despite Bonn’s decision to back out of the plans to submit an initiative on asylum, the idea that Germany should submit a project to the UN continued to be fostered in the Auswärtiges Amt (AA) and also in the Federal Chancellor’s Office.


European Community United Nations General Assembly International Terrorism Host Government 
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  1. 1.
    Ved P. Nanda, ‘Progress Report on the United Nations’ Attempt to Draft an International Convention against the Taking of Hostages’, Ohio Northern University Law Review 6, no. 1 (1979), 89–108Google Scholar
  2. 114.
    For more information on the Chilean 9/11, see, for instance, Tanya Harmer, Allende’s Chile and the Inter-American Cold War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Bernhard Blumenau 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Blumenau
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate Institute of International and Development StudiesGenevaSwitzerland

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