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UN Security Council Calls on Nations to Outlaw Terror Incitement


A summit-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council has formally urged all nations to outlaw incitement to terrorism. Leaders of Security Council members unanimously raised their hands in a symbolic show of support for the measure.

The British-sponsored resolution calls on all 191 U.N. member states to pass laws making it a crime to incite terrorist acts, and to deny safe haven to anyone known to be guilty of such conduct.

The measure was adopted in a special Security Council session timed coincide with observances of the world body's 60th anniversary.

Sitting around the Council table were leaders of most Council member states, including President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Four years to the week after the attack on the World Trade Center, just a few kilometers from U.N. headquarters, President Bush called on nations to do whatever is necessary to disrupt planning for terrorist acts at every stage.

"We have a solemn obligation to stop terrorism in its early stages, we have a solemn obligation to defend our citizens against terrorism, to attack terrorist networks and deprive them of any safe haven, to promote an ideology of freedom and tolerance that refute the dark vision of the terrorists," said Bush.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, whose country suffered a much more recent terrorist attack, warned that the fight against terrorism would fail unless it attacked the root cause, which he identified as a doctrine of fanaticism.

"It won't be defeated until we unite, not just in condemning terrorism, which we all do, but in fighting the poisonous propaganda that the root cause of terrorism somehow lies with us around this table, and not with them," said Blair. "They want us to believe that somehow, it is our fault, that their extremism is our responsibility. They play on our divisions. They exploit our hesitations. This is our weakness, and they know it. We must unite against this ghastly game with our conscience."

The special Security Council session also adopted a second measure aimed at preventing conflict, especially in Africa. The resolution, co-sponsored by African Council members Algeria, Benin and Tanzania, calls for stronger U.N. action to prevent internal crises from erupting into armed conflicts, and to help in rebuilding war-torn societies as a means of preventing conflicts that have been settled from flaring up again.