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UN must be fully engaged in anti-terror fight, Security Council President says

UN must be fully engaged in anti-terror fight, Security Council President says

Asserting that the United Nations "can, and indeed, must" be fully engaged in the fight against terrorism, the President of the Security Council said today that the 15-member body is exploring its specific role in that effort.

Briefing journalists following closed-door consultations, Ambassador Jean-David Levitte of France, which currently holds the Council's rotating presidency, recalled that in the past the Security Council had taken action against terrorism generally, and had also specifically acted in response to the situation in Afghanistan.

"The question is today is there room for action beyond resolution 1368 that we adopted unanimously a few days ago?" he asked, referring to the text adopted by the Council on 12 September, following the attacks the previous day against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. "This will be discussed next week," he said.

Ambassador Levitte recalled that resolution 1368 expressed the Council's readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the attacks of 11 September and to combat all forms of terrorism. "That is exactly what we are determined to do and that we will discuss next week."

There are already some 12 treaties dealing with different aspects of terrorism, he noted. In addition, there are two additional initiatives under consideration - a global convention against terrorism as well as a convention aimed specifically at fighting acts of nuclear terrorism. Beyond these treaties, he noted, there were specialized institutions and agencies as well as regional organizations which played an important role in the fight against terrorism.

The President also said that an opinion piece published by the Secretary-General "reflects exactly the general mood and the general will not only of the Security Council but certainly of the whole membership."

In his op-ed, the Secretary-General argues that the UN is uniquely well-placed to advance the fight against terrorism, providing the forum necessary for building a worldwide coalition to combat the menace.