President Bush is asking the Senate to sign off on two important IMO measures aimed at combating maritime terrorism.
With a view to receiving the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification, I transmit herewith the Protocol of 2005 to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation (the "2005 SUA Protocol") and the Protocol of 2005 to the Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed Platforms Located on the Continental Shelf (the "2005 Fixed Platforms Protocol") (together, "the Protocols"), adopted by the International Maritime Organization Diplomatic Conference in London on October 14, 2005, and signed by the United States of America on February 17, 2006. I also transmit, for the information of the Senate, the report of the Department of State with respect to the Protocols.
The Protocols are an important component in the international campaign to prevent and punish maritime terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and promote the aims of the Proliferation Security Initiative. They establish a legal basis for international cooperation in the investigation, prosecution, and extradition of those who commit or aid terrorist acts or trafficking in weapons of mass destruction aboard ships at sea or on fixed platforms.
The Protocols establish the first international treaty framework for criminalizing certain terrorist acts, including using a ship or fixed platform in a terrorist activity, transporting weapons of mass destruction or their delivery systems and related materials, and transporting terrorist fugitives. The Protocols require Parties to criminalize these acts under their domestic laws, to cooperate to prevent and investigate suspected crimes under the Protocols, and to extradite or submit for prosecution persons accused of committing, attempting to commit, or aiding in the commission of such offenses. The 2005 SUA Protocol also provides for a ship-boarding regime based on flag state consent that will provide an international legal basis for interdiction at sea of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems and related materials, and terrorist fugitives.
I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable consideration to the Protocols, subject to certain understandings that are described in the accompanying report of the Department of State.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
October 1, 2007