UN Passes Anti-Terror Resolution

UNITED NATIONS -- The UN Security Council voted unanimously on Friday for a Russian-initiated resolution that seeks to expand the prosecution and extradition of terrorist groups and suspects, such as Chechen separatists.

But after challenges from Islamic nations Algeria and Pakistan, Russia deleted a call for a global blacklist of terror suspects, now confined to al-Qaida and the Taliban.

Instead it created a working group to consider measures "to be imposed upon individuals, groups or entities" involved in terrorist activities.

"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," Pakistan's UN ambassador, Munir Akram, told reporters.

But despite the lack of practical measures, Russian Ambassador Andrei Denisov hoped the committee would draw up a blacklist, controversial for Islamic nations as well as civil libertarians.

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."

Britain's UN Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry said that while cynics may question whether the resolution made a difference, "it will set us off not just after al-Qaida and the Taliban but after terrorism in general."

The measure was co-sponsored by the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Romania.

Denisov said all terrorist acts against civilians were a crime "and should be given the harshest punishment," especially in light of blasts on Thursday in three Egyptian resorts.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov first announced the proposals in a speech to the UN General Assembly last month after a spate of attacks by Chechen rebels, including the bombing of two airliners and the deadly Beslan school siege.

The resolution says that terrorist acts "are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature."