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10/17/04 - U-N CONDEMNS ALL TERRORISM - 2004-10-14


The United Nations Security Council has adopted a resolution condemning "all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation, wherever and by whomsoever committed, as one of the most serious threats to peace and security."

The resolution was adopted a day after terrorists set off bombs at Taba and two other Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea. Those attacks killed nearly three dozen people, including Israelis, Egyptians and Europeans. The U-N resolution had been introduced in September by Russia in the wake of the terrorist takeover of a school in the town of Beslan. In that incident, more than three-hundred people were killed, about half of them children.

John Danforth is U.S. Ambassador to the U-N. He says the resolution makes a statement "without loopholes. . . .that under any and all circumstances, the intentional targeting of civilians is wrong -- bombing schools, bombing places of worship, car bombs driven into crowds of children, taking hostages, beheading people, the targeting of people who are noncombatants, civilians is wrong":

"Supporters of the murder of civilians sometimes say that these are justifiable acts of national liberation or of self-determination. Some claim that exploding bombs in the midst of children is in the service of God. That is the ultimate blasphemy. The most significant paragraph in the resolution before us states quite clearly that acts that intentionally target civilians for death or serious bodily injury are criminal and never justifiable."

The resolution calls on all U-N member states to cooperate fully in the fight against terrorism. The resolution also calls for more effective measures to keep weapons from terrorists, freeze their financial assets, prevent their movement across borders, and bring them to justice. But the key element in the resolution, says Ambassador Danforth, "is the statement unanimously made that targeting civilians is off limits. . . .a statement of very, very clear principle."

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