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UN Security Council to Take Up Anti-Terrorism Measure

Britain is asking the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution on terrorism at a special session during this month's summit of world leaders in New York. The measure would take the terrorism issue a step further than previous resolutions, addressing the sensitive question of incitement.

Britain's U.N. ambassador, Emyr Jones-Parry, says the anti-terrorism measure will be taken up at a special Security Council session September 14. That is the first day of a high-level gathering marking the world body's 60th anniversary.

At least 170 heads of state and government are expected to attend the three-day event.

Plans are for a historic session at which the leaders of all 15 Security Council member states sit at the Council table.

Ambassador Jones-Parry says the resolution will be a brief document urging all nations to take action against those who incite terrorism.

"It says governments should take every effort to stop people inciting anyone to commit terrorist acts. It's as simple as that," he said.

Some countries, including the United States, have expressed reservations about addressing the sensitive issue of incitement to terrorism. One U.S. diplomat noted that a broad definition of incitement might infringe on the freedom of speech granted in the first amendment of the Constitution.

But several other U.N. diplomats say permanent Council members China and Russia have informally offered strong support for the measure. Only one other member, Algeria, is said to have voiced concern.

Asked why an anti-terror resolution is needed in addition to numerous Security Council resolutions and treaties already on the books, Ambassador Jones-Parry said it closes a gap not addressed in earlier measures.

"I think there's a gap in the market, and the gap in the market is those people who go round inciting terrorism, and it's a tricky, sensitive issue because of course we all respect free speech, but there must be a limit on one's freedom to incite terrorist acts, and that's what we're pointing out," he explained.

The British ambassador said negotiations would begin Friday to find language acceptable to all members, so heads of government can give their unanimous approval at the ceremonial Council session.

The meeting is to be presided over by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whose country holds the rotating Security Council presidency during September.

It will follow a plenary meeting of all 170 heads of state in the General Assembly hall to start the summit. Opening addresses will be given by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and President Bush.