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UN Council Adopts Anti-Terror Resolution

March 14, 2005
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The original Russian draft recommended a UN blacklist of individuals, groups, and entities involved in terrorism, subjecting them to an assets freeze, an arms embargo, and expedited extradition. Currently, such penalties apply only to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The final text creates a working group to consider such measures without mentioning the blacklist. The resolution calls on states to “deny safe haven and bring to justice” any person who supports or participates in the “financing, planning, preparation, or commission of terrorist acts.” The anti-terror proposals were first announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a speech to the UN General Assembly in September, after a spate of attacks by Chechen rebels, including the bombing of two airliners and the deadly Beslan school siege.

In October, Denisov said the council had to make certain that all terrorist acts against civilians were a crime and “should be given the harshest punishment,” particularly in light of blasts just prior to the vote in three Egyptian Sinai resorts. “While we all agree that acts against civilians are terrorist acts, there is no similar consensus on what are the rights of people struggling against foreign occupation,” said Pakistan's UN ambassador, Munir Akram.

The resolution calls on nations to punish “criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public, intimidate a population, or compel a government or international organization to do or abstain from doing any act” that would be an offense in existing treaties and protocols. Such acts, it says, “are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious, or other similar nature.” The resolution was cosponsored by Spain, Britain, France, the United States, Germany, and Romania.

By Evelyn Leopold, Reuters

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