The resolution was adopted with 13 votes. China and Pakistan, which opposed the threat of consequences, abstained, saying Khartoum needs more time to stop the violence.
The final version of the text deleted the word "sanctions" but kept the threat of economic or diplomatic action against the African nation unless it disarms Arab militias blamed for killing thousands of black African farmers.
The United Nations estimates up to 30,000 people have been killed in Sudan's western Darfur region, more than a million driven from their homes, and some 2.2 million left in urgent need of food and other aid as pro-government Arab militias known as Janjaweed waged a brutal campaign to drive out black African farmers in a 17-month conflict over dwindling resources. The U.S. Congress has labeled the atrocities genocide.
"The initial draft included the word `sanctions.' It turns out that the use of that word is objectionable to certain members of the Security Council," U.S. Ambassador John Danforth said Thursday. "They would rather use 'U.N.-speak' for exactly the same thing."
The international debate came amid new reports of atrocities in Darfur. According to an African Union monitoring team, militias "believed to be Janjaweed" chained civilians together and set them on fire earlier this month.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his native Ghana for an African summit, appealed to the Sudanese government to "abide immediately by its commitments" to protect refugees from the conflict in Darfur.
A statement from his office said Annan was "gravely concerned about reports of continuing intimidation, threats and attacks against internally displaced persons in Darfur."
The statement said "government security personnel" have been threatening internal refugees, as opposed to those who have fled to camps in the neighboring country of Chad.