US President George W. Bush has urged the United Nations to forget divisions over the war in Iraq and accept a limited political role there.

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr Bush rejected a quick end to the US occupation of Iraq. He also said that all nations of good will should step forward and provide the support that every young democracy needed.

Mr Bush also said that he wants a new Security Council resolution to fight the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

He said this resolution should call on all members of the UN to criminalise the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr Bush said it should also enact strict export controls consistent with international standards.

Annan says UN must face up to its problems

Earlier, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said the organisation could not shy away from questions about the adequacy and effectiveness of tools at its disposal.

Addressing the Security Council in New York, Mr Annan said that a new panel would examine the global challenges of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction with a view to reforming the UN.

In a reference to the US-led war on Iraq, he said that unilateralism posed a threat to world security.

Baghdad TV office closes

Iraq's Governing Council has decided to close down the Baghdad offices of the Arab satellite TV stations Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

A Council spokesman said today the offices would be closed 'at least temporarily'.

Entefadh Qanbar, spokesman for the Council's head, Ahmad Chalabi, said it was discussing the legal means of shutting down the two stations for allegedly inciting violence against US occupation forces and their Iraqi supporters.