World leaders united on Wednesday on the need to ban incitement of terrorism but fell short of ambitions for a fundamental reform of the United Nations at a summit on the agency's 60th anniversary.
The 15-member Security Council held a rare top-level session to adopt a resolution on terrorism proposed by Britain following the July 7 London bombings.
"We have a solemn obligation to stop terrorism at its early stages," U.S. President George W. Bush told the session. "We must do all we can to disrupt each stage of planning and support for terrorist acts."
Bush also issued a more nuanced appeal, saying that war alone would not defeat terrorism if the world ignored "the hardship and oppression of others."
Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the gathering of kings, presidents and prime ministers that despite some progress, negotiators had failed to achieve the profound overhaul of U.N. policies and institutions he sought.
He conceded that in many areas, including enlargement of the Security Council, members remained sharply divided. "We have not yet achieved the sweeping and fundamental reform that I and many others believe is required," Annan said.
"Our biggest challenge and our biggest failing is on nuclear-proliferation and disarmament," he told the opening session of the three-day summit, which has turned from solving crises to highlighting the world body's difficulties, reports Reuters.
According to Herald Sun, negotiations on a summit document have dropped disarmament proposals from Norway and South Africa and backed by about 80 nations.
The United States objected to calls for nuclear disarmament but stressed the danger of terrorists and rogue states obtaining unconventional weapons.
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin served a reminder of the topicality of the issue, warning Iran that it faced referral to the UN Security Council unless it met its obligations under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Tehran insists it has the right to enrich uranium for what it says is a civilian nuclear program, but Western nations suspect it of a clandestine drive to develop an atom bomb.