The document presented here is the archival copy of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism, which was adopted by 24 member states of the League of Nations on November 16, 1937. The concluding pages of the document contain the signatures of the representatives of the states. In a few cases, reservations, either typed or handwritten, accompany the signatures. The French government had proposed, following the assassination by Croatian and Macedonian separatists of King Alexander I of Yugoslavia in Marseilles in 1934, that the League adopt a convention on terrorism. The text of the convention was drafted at the Conference for the Repression of Terrorism, which took place at the League of Nations headquarters in Geneva on November 1–16, 1937. Article 1 defined acts of terrorism as "criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public." The convention specified the kinds of anti-state actions that were to be considered acts of terror (e.g., attacking public officials, heads of state and their families, or the destruction of public facilities). It required signatory states to enact laws making such acts extraditable offenses in the event one of their nationals committed an act of terror in a foreign country. The convention never came into effect, in part because disputes among the member states over the articles on extradition prevented ratification. The document is preserved in the archives of the League, which were transferred to the United Nations in 1946 and are housed at the UN office in Geneva. They were inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 2010.
References: Bennett Kovrig, “Mediation by Obfuscation: The Resolution of the Marseilles Crisis, October 1934 to May 1935,” The Historical Journal, vol. 19, no. 1 (March 1976).
Institution: United Nations Office at Geneva Library