|UN Security Council |
American hostages returning from Iran
|Date||18 December 1985|
|15 voted for|
None voted against
|Security Council composition|
United Nations Security Council resolution 579, adopted unanimously on 18 December 1985, in a meeting called by the United States, the Council expressed its deep concern at the prevalence in incidents of hostage-taking having grave consequences for the international community and relations between states.
A hostage is a person seized by a criminal abductor in order to compel another party such as a relative, employer, law enforcement or government to act, or refrain from acting, in a certain way, often under threat of serious physical harm to the hostage(s) after expiration of an ultimatum. The 1911 edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica defines a hostage as "a person who is handed over by one of two belligerent parties to the other or seized as security for the carrying out of an agreement, or as a preventive measure against certain acts of war."
The Council recalled various General Assembly and other resolutions, condemning all incidents of hostage-taking and abductions and calling for the immediate safe release of hostages wherever they are. It also affirmed the responsibility of Member States in whose territory hostages are being held to take all appropriate measures to secure the safe release of hostages.
The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions. It has also established numerous subsidiary organs.
The resolution also asked Member States not party to the International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages to become party to it and other treaties. Finally, the Council urged greater cooperation in devising and adopting effective measures in accordance with international law to facilitate the prosecution, prevention and punishment of all acts of hostage taking as "manifestations of international terrorism".
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United Nations Security Council resolution 638, adopted unanimously on 31 July 1989, after reaffirming resolutions 579 (1985) and 618 (1988), the Council expressed its deep concern at the prevalence in incidents of hostage-taking having grave consequences for the international community and relations between states.
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted unanimously on 28 September 2001, is a counter-terrorism measure passed following the 11 September terrorist attacks on the United States. The resolution was adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and is therefore binding on all UN member states.
United Nations Security Council resolution 1566, adopted unanimously on 8 October 2004, after reaffirming resolutions 1267 (1999), 1373 (2001) and 1540 (2004), the Council condemned terrorism as a serious threat to peace and strengthened anti-terrorism legislation.
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United Nations Security Council Resolution 1904, adopted unanimously on December 17, 2009, after reiterating its "unequivocal condemnation" of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda for "ongoing and multiple criminal terrorist acts", the Council adopted new measures to its decade-old regime of sanctions on the groups and others associated with them. The decision to adopt new measures originated from questions arising since Resolution 1267 (1999) and subsequent resolutions which imposed travel restrictions, asset freezes and an arms embargo on Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other associated groups which were placed on a "Consolidated List" compiled by the Security Council Committee established by Resolution 1267.
United Nations Security Council resolution 461, adopted on 31 December 1979, after recalling its Resolution 457 (1979), the Council noted the increasing tension between Iran and the United States and condemned Iran for continuing to hold American hostages at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The Council also cited the International Court of Justice order to immediately release the hostages without any exceptions.
United Nations Security Council resolution 618, adopted unanimously on 29 July 1988, after recalling Resolution 579 (1985) on hostage-taking, the Council condemned the abduction of Lieutenant-Colonel William R. Higgins and demanded his immediate release. It also urged Member States to use their influence to promote the implementation of the current resolution.
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United Nations Security Council resolution 984, adopted unanimously on 11 April 1995, the Council gave assurances to non-nuclear weapon states that were parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) against the threat of nuclear proliferation.
United Nations Security Council resolution 1022, adopted on 22 November 1995, after recalling all resolutions on the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, the Council suspended measures in previous resolutions related to the former Yugoslavia.
United Nations Security Council resolution 1269, adopted unanimously on 19 October 1999, after expressing concern at the increasing number of acts of international terrorism, the Council condemned terrorist attacks and called upon states to fully implement anti-terrorist conventions. It was the first time the Security Council had addressed terrorism in a general manner, though it did not define what constituted terrorism.
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