Condemning terrorism as one of the most serious threats to peace and security, the United Nations Security Council today unanimously called on countries to prosecute or extradite anyone supporting terrorist acts or participating in the planning of such schemes.
In adopting resolution 1566, the Council set up a working group to consider recommendations on measures to be imposed against "individuals, groups or entities involved in or associated with terrorist activities" not already identified by its Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions committee.
Some approaches to be studied include "more effective procedures considered to be appropriate for bringing them to justice through prosecution or extradition," freezing financial assets, travel restrictions and arms embargoes.
The text calls on countries to prevent and punish "criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act."
Such acts "are under no circumstances justifiable by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or other similar nature," according to the Council.
The resolution also asks the working group to consider the possibility of establishing an international compensation fund for victims of terrorist acts and their families, which might be financed through voluntary contributions garnered in part from assets seized from terrorist organizations, their members and sponsors.
Ambassador Andrey I. Denisov of the Russian Federation - which sponsored the resolution along with China, France, Germany, Romania, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States - stressed there was a need to improve the legal and other operational instruments to combat terrorism and terrorist organizations that are expert at changing their tactics depending on the situation.
"We are convinced that the resolution further strengthens the essential coordinating role of the United Nations in the international campaign against the terrorist threat," he said.
Video of Council meeting [1hr]