Promoted by Britain in the wake of the London bombings, resolution 1624 calls upon all 191 UN member states to “prohibit by law incitement to commit a terrorist act or acts” and to “deny safe haven” to anyone even suspected of incitement.
Its adoption on Wednesday – against the backdrop of this week’s World Summit at UN headquarters – was a personal coup for British Prime Minister Tony Blair, two months and two weeks after the worst “terrorist” attack ever on British soil.
“The terrorists have their strategy, and we should have a strategy as well,” said Blair as he took his turn to speak before the Security Council, the UN’s 15-nation core decision-making body.
“Terrorism will not be defeated until our determination is as complete as theirs, our defence of freedom is as absolute as their fanaticism, our passion for democracy as great as their passion for tyranny.”
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said terrorism “constitutes a direct attack on the values the United Nations stands for… We must thus be at the forefront of the fight against terrorism”.
The resolution – clearly aimed at hardline Islamists in Muslim countries – fits exactly with legislation introduced by Blair at home that would outlaw incitement to terrorism in Britain.
It also compensates for relatively weak language on terrorism in the draft final communique of the World Summit, the biggest-ever gathering of world leaders, which winds up on Friday.
“Terrorism will not be defeated until our determination is as complete as theirs, our defence of freedom is as absolute as their fanaticism, our passion for democracy as great as their passion for tyranny”
Fifty-six people were killed, including four apparent Islamist bombers, on 7 July when three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus were attacked during the morning rush hour.
Blair was to meet for an hour later on Wednesday on the sidelines of the summit with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, with terrorism and Afghanistan topping their agenda.
He was also to join some 40 other leaders, led by Russian President Vladimir Putin, in signing an international convention – agreed to at the UN earlier this year – combating nuclear terrorism.
The 15-page pact, a Russian initiative, codifies definitions for trafficking in controlled nuclear materials and calls on participating states to adapt national laws to tighten controls on unsanctioned use of such materials.