Panel urges UN to create agency to fight terrorism¤

A Swiss-led panel of five governments is proposing that the United Nations consider establishing a new agency or program to coordinate global efforts against terrorism. Ambassadors from Costa Rica, Japan, Slovakia, Switzerland and Turkey also recommend that the UN help nations' key counterterrorism officials adopt new standards for cooperating while better protecting human rights. The panel, launched by the Swiss UN mission in November, calls for global involvement far beyond the US-led "war on terror" and efforts of the 15-nation UN Security Council. Swiss UN Ambassador Peter Maurer told The Associated Press the UN should "rebalance the focus away from the 'war on terror' to a more comprehensive way" of combating terrorism.