BUCHAREST/MADRID – The terrorist attacks across Paris on the night of November 13, which left at least 120 dead, are a tragic reminder of the ubiquity of modern terrorism. This year alone, violent extremists have murdered innocent people in the name of religion or politics in France, Tunisia, Kenya, Israel, Nigeria, and, of course, in Syria and Iraq – just to name a few countries. Like the black plague in medieval Europe, terrorism is stalking the modern world, and eradicating it has become a global imperative.
The international community has long been concerned about the threat posed by terrorism. Countries have enacted security legislation and created special intelligence and police units to stop perpetrators and discourage or prevent attacks, and have complemented these efforts by entering into international and regional treaties and bilateral agreements.
And yet, despite numerous attempts to create one, there is no global legal body leading the fight against terrorism. It is time for that to change.
The effort to combat terrorism at the international level goes back nearly 90 years. In 1926, Romania – the first country to introduce the crime of terrorism into its criminal code – asked the League of Nations to “consider drafting a convention to render terrorism universally punishable.”