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UN Debate on Terrorism Ends Without New Resolution - 2001-10-06

The United Nations General Assembly has ended a week-long debate on terrorism, but without adopting any new resolution on the subject.

In 11 sessions over five days there was a lot of talk. In fact, 167 U.N. members spoke about terrorism, the largest number of speakers ever to address the assembly on a single subject.

Nations universally condemned the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, although most Arab delegates drew a distinction between terrorism and resistance to occupation. That distinction was sharply disputed by Israel.

At the end of all the speeches, however, the assembly did not consider any new resolution on the subject of terrorism. Assembly spokesman Jan Fischer said the assembly has already adopted a resolution condemning the attacks on the United States, and the U.N. Security Council has approved two resolutions on terrorism. He said an assembly committee may recommend another resolution in a few weeks.

In closing the session, General Assembly president Han Seung-soo of South Korea stressed the record number of speakers demonstrates the importance of the issue. "This fact alone eloquently demonstrates how seriously all member states, and the whole international community, regard the acts of terrorism that took place on 11 September," he said. "It was because we all believe that they were, not only attacks on the United States, but assaults on the whole civilized world."

Mr. Han also expressed thanks to New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who addressed the General Assembly on Monday - only the third New York mayor ever to do so. Mr. Han said the U.N. General Assembly sends its best wishes for the speedy recovery of its host city.