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UNGA hammers out new counter-terror strategy

The new strategy is a result of world leaders' demands that UN must help its 192 members fight the scourge.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2006 15:00 IST

The president of the UN General Assembly unveiled a long-awaited United Nations strategy to combat terrorism, the result of a year of often bitter work to meet world leaders' demands that the world body must help its 192 members fight the scourge.

Much of the strategy, distributed on Thursday, repeats previous commitments -- for example, with promises to implement earlier General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

It also makes promises that are ambiguous and difficult to fulfill: To promote the rule of law, dialogue and "a culture of peace;" to meet the Millennium Development Goals; to encourage dialogue between people of different faiths.

Yet there are some nuggets that could prove useful, including a suggestion that the UN and member nations develop a database on "biological incidents" to counter the threat of bio-terror; to take measures to combat terrorism on the Internet; and to clamp down on counterfeiting of travel documents.

With his term as General Assembly president winding down, Sweden's Jan Eliasson urged nations to adopt the resolution on Friday, and they were expected to do so.

"By taking decisive action this week we will be sending a clear signal too the world that we are shouldering our responsibility to act together to fight the scourge of terrorism," Eliasson told the General Assembly last afternoon.

The issue of a counter-terrorism has been highly contentious at the UN because nations have been unable to agree on what exactly constitutes terrorism.

First Published: Sep 08, 2006 15:00 IST