The World Summit faced three critical security challenges. The first was to regulate the use of force; the second to give form to and implement the ‘responsibility to protect’. Taking effective, collaborative international action to combat terrorism was the third of the challenges and, in its way, the most difficult. The problem is relatively new. The law and politics that surround it are

hard. But more than that, the UN is not the ideal forum in which co-operative, practical action to meet this pressing danger can be determined and acted upon. It is at national level, whether through military action, law enforcement, changes in economic and social policy or public education, that the first and most effective responses to the threat of terrorist activity may be made. Beyond that, bilateral and regional arrangements will also play their part. On the global stage, however, the opportunity for meaningful action is considerably more restricted. Treaties may be entered into, and general strategies may be developed to contain the risk of terrorist activity. But at their best, these can provide only broad parameters for action, the responsibility for which must primarily be assumed by national governments (Luck, 2004b, 101; Millar and Rosand, 2006, 25). UN action in this sphere, therefore, is action taken at a distance: it is the

somewhat abstracted and distanced nature of multilateral discussions in this

respect that may serve, at least in part, to explain the great difficulty the organization has had in agreeing on multinational measures to overcome the grave risk to international peace and security that terrorism constitutes. The UN General Assembly has pursued a twin-track strategy to tackle

terrorism. The World Summit recommended first, that the Secretary-General draw up a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy for adoption by the Assembly. The strategy would delineate the common measures nations should adopt individually and in concert, across the full range of policies and programmes, to reduce and, hopefully in time, eliminate terrorist attacks. Secondly, the Summit recommended that the international treaty regime covering terrorism should be revivified. At the heart of this recommendation lay the desire that a comprehensive international convention on terrorism, overarching the 13 specialized treaties dealing with the subject, should be concluded. This convention would make clear the individual responsibility of nations to outlaw terrorist activity while, at the same time, ensuring that the fundamental values inherent in democracy and the protection of human rights should not be undermined.1