THE FIFTH CEDRIC BARCLAY

MEMORIAL LECTURE

 

The Honourable Mr. Justice Waung

New York, 23rd October 2001

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THE NEW MILLENNIUM, TERRORISM & ARBITRATION

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I am very honoured to be asked to deliver this Fifth Memorial Lecture in memory of Cedric Barclay.  My wife and I have been very much looking forward to be in New York on this special occasion.  But we wish we could have come in happier circumstances.

 

In 1972 when Cedric Barclay first established in Moscow the ICMA, International Congress of Maritime Arbitrators, although there was the cold war, the world was relatively speaking, orderly and predictable and certainly for the ordinary person less dangerous. There would be no question of our children and our parents asking us whether it was absolutely necessary to go to a city like New York for a conference.  After the terrible terrorist attacks, what would Cedric Barclay (a man never lost for words) say to this audience in New York about the future of arbitration.

 

New York, 11th September 2001 was the day which changed not only the United States of America but the whole world. Even at the risk of merely putting forward some random thoughts of an Admiralty Judge from Hong Kong, it seems to me worthwhile on an occasion such as today at the Waldorf-Astoria (only a few miles from the World Trade Centre) in front of this august body of international maritime arbitrators to reflect briefly on the relationship between terrorism and arbitration in the New Millennium.

 

            “Terrorism” is defined in Section 2656(f) of Title 22 of the United States Code as meaning:-

“premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetuated against   noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”.

“International terrorism” is defined as

“terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country”.

 

A definition of “international terrorism” acceptable to the world community proved to be impossible over the last thirty years.  In 1972  international terrorism as a topic was first placed on the agenda of the General Assembly of the United Nations but countries could not agree on the definition of international terrorism or the measures necessary to combat it.  Since that time the United Nations had adopted a number of Conventions on Terrorism including:-

- in 1979, the Convention against Taking of Hostages;

- in 1988, the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation;

- in 1997, the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings;

- in 1999, the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

In all up to date, 12 Conventions had been adopted by the United Nations. But a comprehensive convention on international terrorism or an agreed definition of international terrorism is still not within reach. 

 

            While the diplomats and politicians debated on the words and the contents of Conventions, international terrorism spread and gathered its fatal force. The world learnt about:-

-         the downing of the Panam Lockerbie flight in 1988,

-         the Tokyo subway gas attacks in 1995,

-         the Luxor tourist killings in 1997,

-         the bombing of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam in 1998,

-         the USS Cole killing of sailors in 2000 in Aden.

The world condemned the violence of these terrorists acts but the violence did not change our way of life.   They were too remote for most of us.

 

The General Assembly of the United Nations in 1994 in its Resolution 49/60 of Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism said:-

“ …. Terrorists acts are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the consideration of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or of any other nature that may be invoked to justify them … ”.

 

            This universal sentiment however was not reflected in the full participation of every country in the world in the UN Conventions against international terrorism. Large number of countries did not sign and even more did not ratify. Many countries did not have proper domestic legislation against international terrorism. In Hong Kong only some 7 pre-1980 UN Conventions apply and we do not have a sufficiently comprehensive domestic legislation dealing with suppression of international terrorism. I believe this lack of adequate domestic legislation on full suppression of international terrorism is probably true for the countries of many delegates to this Conference.

 

In USA, domestic legislation dealing with international terrorism had been enacted for some time.  An example of this is the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 which provide for the designation by the Secretary of State of terrorist groups as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).  It is unlawful in the USA to provide funds or other material support to a designated FTO and banks are required to block funds of designated FTO.  I understand that on 5th October 2001, the Secretary of State of the USA amended the list of designated FTO from 26 to 28, a full list of which with Background Information is set out in the attached Annex.  A casual look at the contents of the Background Information on the 28 Terrorist Groups suggest that for sometime we have in this world a large number of international terrorists groups which had carried out terrorists attacks or which are likely to do so in future.

 

In the context of terrorism having been for some time a “clear and present danger to the international community” it is surprising that a major terrorist attack did not take place earlier. What caused the world to finally wake up in horror on the 11th of September was that for the first time, the terrorists attacked massively inside the urban centre of the West.  Previously the killings were done in and to embassies, ships and planes.  This time the terrorists killed thousands of non-combatants civilians in the financial heart of America. The full force of the murderous brutality of the World Trade Centre attack was brought home on the 11th of September 2001 to everyone through their television sets everywhere in the world and it struck terror into the heart and soul of every single person in the world.   There was the sudden realisation that international terrorism could hit at any time, at any place and kill large number of people in one single attack, including you, me, our family, our friends and our neighbours.  

 

America and her allies have started the War on terrorism and in particular against Al-Qaida and its leader Bin Laden (see the Annex for details of the description, activities, strength, area of operation and external aid of Al-Qaida).  This War might take months or years. President Bush was reported last Thursday as saying that the War could take 2 years. This War might result in the total elimination of Al-Qaida and its leader Bin Laden or it might not.  What would be the international political and economic landscape after the War.  Will we go back to normal after the War or will we have a different world whatever happens with this War.

 

It is my belief that international terrorism will trouble our world for a long time to come, whatever might be the outcome of this War and I say this because:-

(a)                there appears to be social and political discontent in many parts of the world to such extent as to enable fanatic terrorist groups not only to operate in secret for long period of time but to recruit successfully new members to join the terrorist groups. The reported ability of Al-Qaida to recruit young fanatical Saudi and Egyptian muslims into the Al-Qaida Group is an example of the appeal of such terrorist groups;

(b)               it is unlikely that the tension between the capitalist west and some of the people of islamic countries will disappear in the near future.   The tension was described by Samuel Huntington thus:-

The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.  The problem for Islam … is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining power, imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world.’(underlining supplied)

The inability to accept global multi-culturism (arguably on both sides) is one underlying reason for the insecurity of the world. The insecurity is most acute and dangerous in the economically deprived areas of the world where islamic fundamentalism has the greatest attraction for the people;  

(c)                terrorist groups by nature and definition operate in secret and it is extremely difficult to fight against enemies who work in the dark, not in open view. War against international terrorists who have no fixed address cannot be waged like a conventional war against the Iraqi army with tanks and large formation of troops;

(d)               the United States of America has declared long-term war against international terrorism.  A study of the 28 designated FTOs will reveal that some 18 of these are middle eastern groups with heavy emphasis on muslim or islamic leadership and the rest (including Japanese, Basque, Irish, Greek, Peruvian and Colombian) are spread over the rest of the world.  Being a novice in this area, I cannot say whether these 28 Designated FTOs have established any record of staying power. However it is very probable, given the nature of some of these FTOs with their background that, this War even if successful will still leave sufficient groups of secretive and dangerous terrorists in active operation as to keep many of the security agencies of the western world very busy for the next decade.  What is different between this War and the war against Iraq is that in the Iraqi war, there was a beginning and an end, against a clear single enemy operating from a known fixed location.  No one can say now what will amount to an end to this War as there had been no clearly stated war objectives one, two and three.   So for example even the death of Bin Laden tomorrow might not necessarily mean the end of this War. The worldwide struggle against international terrorism might not come to an end for a very long time because until there is political and cultural stability in most of the underdeveloped parts of the world (specially in the muslim world) there will be plenty of room for international terrorism.  This struggle against international terrorists will be unlike any previous wars we have known. The west led by America will be fighting against enemies of unknown identities, unknown attributes, unknown numbers and unknown networks.  

 

It is therefore the theme of my Lecture today that 911 has changed our world.  We cannot go back to the old world where terrorism was a mere inconvenient item every two or three years on the television evening news. World Trade Centre attack has changed all that.  Whatever might take place in and after the present War, we will have to live in a world where international terrorism and steps taken to prevent and suppress international terrorism will become part of our political, social, cultural and economic life.  How would such a new world affect arbitration and what impact it will have on arbitration.

 

            What I will be saying now is largely an exercise in speculation as there is not a great deal from past history to guide us as to what might happen in the next few years or decade.  Being aware that this is something of a crystal-ball look into the future, it seems to me that in the new world facing us, there are three areas which would be affected by international terrorism:-

(a)                Direct and indirect consequence on persons, properties and economic activity as result of a particular terrorist attack;

(b)               Direct and indirect consequence on persons, properties and economic activity as result of steps (including violent steps) taken to find and punish the particular terrorist attackers;

(c)                Direct and indirect consequence on persons, properties and economic activity as result of steps taken to suppress terrorism generally including terrorist activities or the funding of terrorist activities.

 

Before delving into the three areas affected by terrorism, it seems worthwhile to state that World Trade Centre attacks have brought about a sea change in the world’s attitude to international terrorism.   What is the sea change?

 

First I believe that there will be an accelerated programme of domestic legislation against terrorism in practically all countries of the world.  All activities everywhere will be affected by such new domestic legislation. Previously international conventions had made very little impact on such activities and before 911 most countries did not regard the passing of domestic legislation in conformity with their UN Conventions obligations as a matter of first priority. 911 has changed that and domestically there will be demand for an accelerated programme of legislation against international terrorism.  I read with interest that a new substantial anti-terrorist bill is now before the British Parliament.

 

Secondly, the increasing appreciation of the relevance and importance of terrorism and anti-terrorism legislation will in a short time cause many contracts (with arbitration clauses) to be differently written.  Terrorism can no longer be hidden behind standard clauses but would be the subject of probably elaborate treatment in contracts. Many lawyers amongst you will be very busy with advising and drafting relevant clauses exempting liability arising out of terrorism or for not taking sufficient steps to prevent terrorism.   I expect many law firms in all urban centres of the world have already received request from companies asking for advice on and relating to terrorism.  In many cases, security experts will have to be brought in to advise on the exposure of a particular company on terrorism.

 

With the above sea change as the background, I will try to take a look into the first area of the future after a Terrorist Attack.

 

TERRORIST ATTACK

 

Persons

 

            The first immediate casualties of a terrorist attack are normally the innocent civilian victims who happen to be at the scene of the attack.  In the case of WTC attacks, I would include in this category not only those directly on the top floors of World Trade Centre but also those firemen or policemen who were not there at the time of the attack but who bravely and selflessly went to the rescue of the victims.  The death and/or bodily or psychological injuries as result of the terrorist attack often trigger off contractual rights the dispute of which require resolution by arbitration. Examples of this would be life, accident or health insurance policies, contracts of employment and pension schemes.  Persons injured might have claims which would be subject to arbitration clauses.  A typical example of persons injured by a terrorist attack would be passengers injured on board a cruise ship which was seized by terrorists who gained access to the ship as result of inadequate security system of the cruise ship. A claim by the passengers against the ship could be met with exclusion clauses in the ticket conditions.   An arbitrator would have to resolve such disputes.

 

Properties

      

            Loss of properties as result of a major terrorist attack at World Trade Centre is a subject of such complexities that the matter may have already engaged the professional attention of many of the attendees of this Conference.  Properties lost would include naturally both real and personal property, namely immovables or movables.  In respect of immovable properties I suspect many offices in the World Trade Centre would be the subjects of leases, sub-leases or agreements with arbitration clauses. In relation to shops the possible permutation of contractual arrangements might be even more diverse and many of these may have arbitration clause providing for dispute resolution. Property lawyers can probably spend days discussing the implications on the leases arising from the collapse of the World Trade Centre buildings.

 

            In July 2001 Silverstein Properties apparently acquired the lease of World Trade Centre from the Port Authority of New York.  Herald Tribune reported recently that Silverstein Properties was seeking $7.2 billion from the insurers. The insurance claim was made on the basis of two separate occurrences under the insurance and therefore entitling Mr. Silverstein’s company to collect twice on $3.6 billion for each occurrence of attack. The underwriters were reported to contend that there was only one occurrence as the two attacks were coordinated.  I do not know if the insurance contract in question contained an arbitration clause but if it does, then the arbitration over the insurance claim will certainly be one of the largest arising out the of terrorist attack on World Trade Centre or possibly the largest insurance claim for loss arising out of a terrorist attack.  

 

            In respect of personal movable properties, whether they be in the form of equipment, appliances, vehicles, goods, personal belongings or even works of art, inevitably very large losses would be suffered as result of a terrorist attack. Some $100 million works of art were reportedly to be destroyed in the WTC.  Computers destroyed amounted to over $10 billion in value.  Borders Bookstore at the World Trade Centre was my favourite bookshop in New York where I had spent many many happy hours.  All the books lost in that Borders store might well be the subject of a number of arbitration disputes between Borders and the various publishers or suppliers. It is in fact difficult to imagine what a full list of properties lost at World Trade Centre would look like. I suspect it will take many many months to compile such a list let alone deal with claims arising from the destruction of the properties.   Undoubtedly these properties would be the subject of huge number of contracts and the working out of the economic consequence of these contracts arising from the destruction caused by the terrorist attacks would be the difficult task facing many professional arbitrators in the next few years. As with arbitration over lives lost at WTC, the arbitrators will be faced with heart-renderingly difficult decisions the reaching of which might well proved to be the most painful and difficult for even the most experienced of professional arbitrators.

 

Loss of Economic Activities

 

            What is even more difficult and almost of unprecedented complexity will be the working out of economic loss from inability to carry out contractual obligations arising out of the destruction of WTC.  Tens of thousands of contracts must have been affected by the terrorist attacks on WTC and many of these will require dispute resolution by patient arbitrators.

 

            In the past, when terrorist attacks were confined to embassies, warships or planes, the economic losses resulting from such attacks were relatively easy to work out and did not give rise to many disputes requiring resolution by arbitration. But the World Trade Centre destruction was of a totally different order. It is not just a case of 5,000 lives lost but it was total destruction of the most important workplace in America where huge amounts of business activities were carried on and where these enterprises had entered into hundreds of thousands if not millions of contracts, many of which were adversely affected by the attacks.  Take for example one of the security houses such as I believe Lehman Brothers which had to find quickly alternative office in a Sheraton hotel nearby or the tragic case of Kantor Fitzgerald the unique bond dealers which lost some 80% of its staff.  Outsiders could not even begin to speculate as to how these companies and their contracts were affected by the attacks.  But one thing is certain, if any contract was affected and there was a dispute and such a contract contained an arbitration clause then the arbitrator would have to decide such a tragic case. World Trade Centre attack was vicious and on an enormous scale, but it is possible to think of worse situations.  If there was a secret and successful attack say of the air supply or the water supply of a major city like Chicago or London or Paris and millions die, how would the contractual loss arising from such attacks be resolved.

 

            It is therefore not too speculative to conclude that any terrorist attack involving loss of life, loss of property and loss of economic activity will result in disputes of contracts requiring resolution by arbitration.  The arbitration work from a small attack can be easily handled but the arbitration community probably would be hard pressed to cope with the consequence of a really major or huge terrorist attack.

 

 

FINDING TERRORIST ATTACKERS

 

            After a terrorist attack, inevitably there would be a hunt for the attackers.  I suspect in most cases, the suspects will be drawn from a small known circle of terrorist groups and the hunt would be to find them physically and bring them to justice. There would also be efforts made to freeze their assets and immobilize their ability to use their funds.

 

            In terms of the operation to find the attackers, most likely physical force would be used both in the country where the attack took place as well as anywhere else where the attackers or their associates could be found. If there was physical conflict (which would most likely to be the case as it is difficult to imagine that the attackers would be giving up quickly without any resistance), then damage to persons as well as properties would likely occur and in such situation, the same categories of loss could be suffered as in the case of terrorist attacks.  In all these situations, arbitration clauses in the affected contracts would call for disputes to be resolved by arbitration.   

 

In the case of operation to find not the attackers but the funds of the attackers, as legal means would be used by the Government pursuant to whatever power they have under their domestic legislation, there would be little scope for claims for personal harm or injury or physical damage to property. But what is likely to occur would be economic loss suffered as result of the banks or third parties taking steps pursuant to directives from the Government or some semi-official agencies.  Let us imagine a case of a west European bank freezing the local bank account of a company suspected of some connection abroad with the attackers. The west european bank acted prematurely without a legally enforceable order of its Government. The local bank customer was wholly innocent of any terrorist connection. And because of the freezing of the account, the company was not able to carry out a certain transaction and claim was made by the company against the bank for the loss suffered by the customer company.  If there was an arbitration clause in the bank/customer contract then the dispute will have to be resolved by arbitration and it may well be that the bank has no defence to the claim brought by the customer.

 

            There are reports of terrorist groups doing business for profit as well as using front organizations to carry out their activities. Even charities or religious foundations are said to be involved.  Any company therefore which had dealings with such organization or charity or foundations might suddenly find itself the subject of inquiries or actions taken by third parties or banks resulting thereby in loss which would be subject of claims in arbitration.

 

SUPPRESSING TERRORISM

 

            It is my belief that one of the most important legacies of the World Trade Centre attacks of 11th September will be the accelerated pace of demand for new measures to prevent and suppress terrorism and in particular terrorist attacks.  There will be, I think great improvements in anti-terrorism in at least the following areas:-

(1)               improved international convention on international terrorism;

(2)               increased domestic legislation on prevention and suppression of international terrorism;

(3)               increased measures taken or required to be taken by law to guard against terrorist attacks;

(4)               increased measures taken or required to be taken to track down terrorists groups in advance of attacks by them.

 

In the past, the international community did not act with the greatest of urgency in the discussion, drafting and adoption of the various UN Conventions against international terrorism. I believe after 911 and specially after this War in Afghanistan, a new international attitude will press for a much faster adoption of a comprehensive convention against international terrorism. It is at present difficult to predict what detailed form such convention will take but after the lessons learnt from the World Trade Centre attacks, I suspect the new Comprehensive Convention will contain requirements for elaborate measures to detect, prevent and suppress international terrorism and most importantly of all to work together to reach the aforesaid objectives.

 

            On the domestic legislation front, there will be a compelling public pressure on each country and within each country (specially in the west) to enact domestic laws in compliance with the various UN Conventions and in many countries to go beyond such UN Conventions.  There should be in the domestic legislation:-

(a)                prohibitions against harbouring terrorists;

(b)               prohibitions against the establishment and operations of terrorist camps;

(c)                prohibitions against activities to encourage, organise, or finance terrorism;

(d)               duty to exchange information and expertise on terrorism, terrorists, their movements, support, weapons and connections ;

(e)                duty to catch terrorists for their prosecution or extradition.

 

Whilst the domestic legislation lays down duties and obligations principally on the government of the country to take the appropriate steps against terrorists and terrorism, the greatest impact on everyday behaviour of all enterprises would be the necessity to be vigilant at all times against terrorists. All important public places will be expected to have necessary procedures put in place so as to minimise the risk of terrorist attack.  A cruise ship will be expected to put in place a proper system to protect its passengers at all times, not just at the time of boarding but even during the course of the cruise voyage and if there was a terrorist attack, the conditions of the contract might not be sufficient to protect the cruise line owners.  The same goes for the airlines and an example of such inadquacy of security would be the deliberate failure to put in air marshals on board a known vulnerable flight for financial reason of saving money.  An arbitrator might have to decide the question of the liability of the cruise ship or airline for such terrorist attack.

 

            Such examples can be multiplied. Utilities consumer could hold the utilities company liable for loss caused by the interruption of the utilities services if there was insufficient measure taken by the utilities company to prevent terrorist attack.

 

Employer could be held liable to employees if inadequate steps were taken in respect of terrorist biological or chemical attacks.  The US Congress closed down very quickly after the Anthrax attack last week and an improved system will have to be put in place to prevent similar future attacks.

 

A charterer or shipper or cargo could hold the ship liable for lack of adequate steps taken to guard against terrorist attack. Imagine a giant oil tanker which due to inadequate security precaution was allowed to sail into Hong Kong harbour and huge explosion was set off by the terrorists causing widespread fire onto other ships in harbour and buildings on land resulting in the closure of the Hong Kong harbour due to the sinking of the ships.  Between the shipper of the oil cargo and the shipowner, the dispute as to liability might have to be decided by one of your members as to whether the bill of lading conditions or the charterparty terms could protect the carrier from liability.

 

The common theme of all these disputes, requiring possibly difficult decision by an arbitrator is that after the World Trade Centre’s ferocious terrorists attack, the protection and prevention standard expected from everyone (person, company, institution and government) is raised to a totally different level. The enormous danger and risk of unexpected attacks from terrorists is now known and accepted by the world and certainly by the business community of the world. The question is no longer whether preventive steps should be taken but what reasonable and prudent steps ought to be taken in the circumstances having regard to the risk and expense.  In the case of major public buildings, which are prime targets of attack or major installations or vehicles of transport which can be employed as means of mass destruction such as a VLCC, I expect that much would be expected.  In the case say of a very small craft, it would not be reasonable to expect the same expensive and elaborate security measures to be taken.

 

            The duty of tracking down attackers and their funds so that their terrorist activities could be curtailed or shut down calls for a different kind of standard of behaviour, the breach of which might give rise to claims in arbitration.   In general of course, the duty of tracking down would lie on the part of the government and government agencies. But let us assume that a large container terminal company in Europe was asked to supply to its Government anti-terrorist agency information about a certain employee which would have led to the immediate capture of a terrorist groups of which that employee was a member. The terminal company failed to either respond quickly or gave the wrong information as result of which the container terminal was blown up by the terrorists and large number of the staff were killed and/or injured and hired appliances were destroyed. It would be up to the arbitrator to decide whether any exclusion provision in the employment contracts (in the case of death and injury claims by the employees) and in the appliances hire agreements could protect the container terminal company.

 

         Examples of such disputes arising out of the new duty on many to track down on terrorists and their funds could be repeated many times. A difficult question which might be asked is whether there is any duty to report on activities which give rise to suspicion of existence of terrorist activities.  In the days before World Trade Centre, it could be argued that there was no such duty but after 911, I believe a good case can be made out for a duty on everyone, within reason and without exposing oneself or one’s immediate circle to excessive danger, to report on possible terrorism and terrorists.  How can I live in peace and security if you, my neighbour do not take the reasonable step when you can see or sense terrorist danger around me.  Security comes from not only by the Government acting to protect us (by way of domestic laws or measures such as the taking over of the scanning machines at the airports) but security comes from every one behaving differently from before because the collective security for everyone is the collective vigilance and protection we can give to each other.   After what we have seen on television of the disaster at World Trade Centre an arbitrator will most likely apply very high standard if any dispute should arise as to the adequacy of vigilance of a person or company in respect of potential terrorism and terrorists.

 

 Well drafted exclusion of liability from terrorism clauses could of course make a difference to the outcome of many of these arbitration disputes.  In time, possibly the centre of dispute in these cases will shift from whether there was inadequate security measures to whether the exclusion clauses are sufficient to protect such lack of security measures.   Often the lack of comprehensive security measures is due to economic reasons of a company not wanting to spend the necessary money.  If it is seen by Government that socially and politically it is undesirable that companies escape liability with such exclusion provisions then legislation might be passed to make it mandatory for adequate security systems to be put in and it would be against the law to contract out of such statutory obligations. The above speculative scenario would provide much scope for arbitrator to wrestle with the difficult problems arising out of the necessity to prevent and suppress terrorism.

  

CONCLUSION

 

            Have I painted a black picture of hell or is it all an illusion which will soon disappear and we can go back to relatively normal lives.   It is not possible for us to see into the future but I have tried to speculate from present evidence of what the future might hold for the world and the role which might be played by arbitration and arbitrators in such a world.       

 

            If I am even half right in my prognosis, then you will agree with me that arbitration will be very active because it will be a new world which we are not used to, where we will have to live in fear of international terrorist attacks at any time and at any place.   A lot of adjustment will have to be made for life in the new world and such adjustments often give rise to differences requiring arbitration.

 

 When the Atomic bomb was first dropped, fear gripped the world. We now live in fear of a different kind but no less deadly. Cedric Barclay, a man born in Istanbul in 1917 and who lived most happily amongst muslims (he spoke Turkish and Uzbek and even carried pilgrims to Mecca in a shipping line founded by him) would understand the human dilemma facing the world today.  As the founder of the Congress of International Maritime Arbitrators, he would probably suggest that differences of whatever kind could be resolved in arbitration by a firm and independent arbitrator.

 

            Terrorism and arbitration are not strangers to each other. In practically all the UN Conventions there are provisions for arbitration in the event Governments cannot agree on the interpretation or application of these Conventions on terrorism (see for example Article 16 of the 1979 Convention, Article 16 of the 1988 Rome Convention, Article 20 of the 1997 Terrorist Bombing Convention, Article 24 of the 1999 Financing Terrorism Convention, Article 23 of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism).   If one day the fundamental difference dividing most of the world from the terrorists groups could be referred to arbitration, then this world will be a safer place.  But time for peaceful solution by such arbitration will not come unless the whole world begins to understand a great deal more of what causes a person or group of persons to become terrorists.  Is the fundamental cause of the terrorism the great economic divide between the increasingly wealthy west and the increasingly poorer people of the third world?  The economic swamp that serves as the breeding ground of hatred of the world’s wealthiest and most affluent countries headed by the USA is where the future terrorists of our children’s generation are born.   The cultural and political impotence of people of non-western religious faith and cultural tradition is also the source of rage which cause young and educated people in these undeveloped parts of the world to take up the ideology and practice of terrorism.  We must find out for example why in the universities and madrasahs of Egypt, Pakistan or Algeria, young students learnt to detest the western or American world and their values. It is only when the world has understood the fundamental causes of terrorism can we begin to address the exceedingly difficult problem of terrorism and find the solution to the problem. In the meantime, all we can do is pray that another terrible attack will not take place, at least not easily or due to lack of vigilance on the part of the citizens of the world.

 

As a guest of New York and of the United States of America, I am sure I share the feelings of all the visitors here today of our admiration for the courage of the brave people of New York and the firm strong principle taken up by the great nation of the United States of America.  Your President has been transformed by 11th of September and I pray that all of us have also been transformed into vigilant citizens who demand a different world where we do not have to live in daily fear and where no international terrorist group can survive for long because it will be a world where his peers or fellow citizens will not allow them to cause cruel and senseless destruction. How that will come about I do not know but if there is ever any need for a system of bridge building between two sides, then we have in this magnificent arbitration community, miracle workers of bridge building.

 

            I thank you for granting me the indulgence of sailing with you into dangerous uncharted waters talking about a subject which I know so little about.  For me it was a fascinating voyage of discovery allowing us to see something of the future, where a special place is reserved for arbitrators.