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Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
UN backs anti-terrorism moves
World Trade Center site
The UN condemned the suicide attacks the next day
The United Nations Security Council has unanimously passed a resolution designed to cut off the financing of terrorist groups.

The United States-sponsored resolution also calls on all states to co-operate on exchanging information about the activity of terrorist groups.

Demonstrators supporing Osama Bin Laden
Enemies of the US have vociferous support
President Bush's administration has made it clear that it sees the closing down of funding for terrorism as one of key planks in its campaign after the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington in which more than 6,000 people were killed.

Those who do not abide by the resolution might find themselves subject to UN sanctions.

One stumbling block was the definition of a "terrorist," which is not contained in the resolution and could be added later by the 189-nation General Assembly.

"There is a huge grey area of what is a terrorist," said one council diplomat.

Closing loopholes

United Nations diplomats say the resolution passed late on Friday should be seen as a practical way of closing loopholes that exist in current UN anti-terrorism conventions, many of which have not been signed or ratified by member states.

The resolution invokes the enforcement rules of Chapter Seven, which obliges all states to implement it immediately.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan believes in a joint response
There is also a provision for the establishment of a Security Council committee that would monitor whether countries are actually abiding by the rules of the resolution, drawing on the expertise of banking and other technical experts.

It also calls on states to exchange information to prevent the movement of terrorists across international borders.

Before the vote, Council President Jean-David Levitte said there were no disagreements on the substance of the draft among the five permanent members of the council and the 10 elected members.

But members called their governments to confirm agreement on changes in complicated legal references.

Defining words

"We want to find the appropriate wording," Mr Levitte said.

The new resolution follows a call this week by President Bush for nations to freeze the assets of people and groups linked to terrorism.

But the resolution does not mention the list of 27 individuals and groups whose assets were frozen by the US.

The council's permanent members - France, China, Russia, the United States and Britain - agreed on the general terms of the resolution before it was introduced to the rest of the council, diplomats said.

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs
"Missing from the text is any definition of terrorism"
The BBC's Tim Franks in Washington
"It is a significant symbolic step"
Thomas Withington, Kings College London
"Bin Laden will have gone to great pains to hide his money"
See also:

28 Sep 01 | Business
Net closes on terror cash
27 Sep 01 | Americas
US presses UN over terrorism
26 Sep 01 | Americas
UN seeks role in anti-terror war
24 Sep 01 | South Asia
UN prepares for refugee crisis
16 Sep 01 | Americas
US prepares for war
29 Sep 01 | South Asia
British reporter 'suspected of spying'
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