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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 04:56 GMT
UN weapons resolution introduced
By Susannah Price
BBC correspondent at the United Nations in New York

US President George W Bush
President Bush has called for action on the WMD issue
The US has introduced a resolution at the United Nations designed to prevent terrorists getting hold of weapons of mass destruction.

It aims to close loopholes in current non-proliferation treaties.

The draft resolution will be discussed over the next few days, but it is unclear when it will be put to a vote.

It was prompted by US President George W Bush's call last year for action to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

The British Ambassador to the United Nations, Emyr Jones Parry, said the Security Council had to stop the ultimate nightmare of bringing together weapons of mass destruction and terrorists.

Wide support

The draft resolution calls on states to pass and enforce laws to stop unauthorised individuals or groups from developing or using such weapons.

The text also says states should prevent their proliferation by accounting for all items, developing effective border controls, and co-operating to prevent illicit trafficking.

Under the terms of the resolution, governments would have to report to a committee on what measures they had taken to fulfil these conditions.

The US resolution is co-sponsored by the British and is broadly supported by the other permanent members of the Security Council - Russia, France and China.

Its supporters say the resolution would tighten international law regarding non-state actors such as terrorists and traffickers and is part of a wider package to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

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