Article 3

1. A mercenary, as defined in article 1 of this Convention, who participates directly in hostilities or in a concerted act of violence, as the case may be, commits an international crime for the purposes of the Convention. A mercenary who participates in the following acts also commits an internationally prosecutable offence: destabilization of legitimate governments, terrorism, trafficking in persons, drugs and arms and any other illicit trafficking, sabotage, selective assassination, transnational organized crime, forcible control of valuable natural resources and unlawful possession of nuclear or bacteriological materials.

2. Nothing in this article limits the scope of application of article 4 of this Convention.

3. Where a person is convicted of an offence under article 1 of the Convention, any dominant motive of the perpetrator should be taken into account when sentencing the offender.”

VI. current status of the international convention
against the recruitment, use, financing and
training of mercenaries

48. The International Convention adopted by the General Assembly on 4 December 1989 entered into force on 20 October 2001 when the twenty-second instrument of ratification or accession was deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. There are now 25 States parties to the Convention. Costa Rica deposited its instrument of accession on 20 September 2001, Mali on 12 April 2002, Belgium on 31 May 2002 and Guinea on 18 July 2003.

49. Twenty-five States have completed the formal process of expressing their willingness to be bound by the International Convention. These States are: Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Guinea, Italy, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Suriname, Togo, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uruguay and Uzbekistan. Nine other States have signed the International Convention, but have not yet ratified it. They are: Angola, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Morocco, Nigeria, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia.

50. With a view to improving the effectiveness of efforts to combat mercenary activities, the Special Rapporteur wishes to suggest that it is in the interest of States to give favourable consideration to ratification of or accession to the International Convention, and, in that regard, expedite internal procedures to facilitate their early accession to the Convention as a State party. The basis of this suggestion is the fact that the growth in mercenary activities throughout the world and the extent of the unlawful acts in which mercenaries are involved require the international instrument intended to counter such activities to be fully supported by a large number of States. Secondly, in any amendment of the Convention to make it more effective in the prosecution of offences and internationally wrongful acts attributable to mercenaries, the proposals and machinery in play should engage a broad number of States parties.


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