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Nuclear terrorism convention gets first signature at UN summit

[JURIST] Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website] was the first world leader to sign the UN Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism [PDF text], which opened for signatures Wednesday at the UN's 2005 World Summit [official website]. As many as 63 nations are expected to sign the treaty [JURIST report], initially proposed by Russia, which addresses the illegal possession or use of nuclear materials by non-state actors and calls for international cooperation with nuclear terror investigations and proceedings. The convention was adopted [JURIST report] in April, after several years of negotiations between nuclear and non-nuclear nations. The convention will enter into force after it is signed and ratified by at least 22 countries. MosNews has more.

Also Wednesday at the UN, leaders from Security Council member countries are gathering to vote on a draft proposal that condemns the incitement of terrorist acts, and calls upon all member states to take appropriate steps to end such incitement. The resolution, proposed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, seeks to empower authorities to expel or exclude foreign nationals who incite violence or glorify terrorism. Human rights groups have expressed disapproval [HRW press release] of the initiative, calling it "a pretext to suppress peaceful expression," and arguing that the definition of "incitement to terrorist acts" should be strictly construed in order to avoid prohibitions on lawful expression and association. In an address to the General Assembly [text], President Bush voiced his support of the measure, and called upon leaders to "change the conditions that allow terrorists to flourish and recruit." Reuters has more.

4:30 PM ET - Security Council heads of state and government unanimously adopted two resolutions Wednesday calling on states to reinforce the battle against terrorism and strengthening the Council's role in preventing conflict. Resolution 1624 [text] condemns "all acts of terrorism irrespective of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed, as one of the most serious threats to peace and security" and calls upon states to adopt all necessary measures to combat terrorism. These measures include prohibiting incitement to commit terrorist acts, denying safe haven to anyone involved in terrorism, strengthening the security of international borders, and combating fraudulent travel documents. The resolution also calls upon states to ensure that any measures taken comply with all obligation under international human rights law, refugee law, and humanitarian law. The Council also Resolution 1625 [text] which calls for countries to adopt a wide range of measures to prevent conflict, including promoting fair and transparent electoral processes and acting against illegal exploitation and trafficking of natural resources. UN News has more.

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