Press Releases

    15 September 2005

    Terrorism Directly Attacks Values for Which United Nations Stands, Says Secretary-General in Statement to Security Council Summit

    He Cites Rule of Law, Protection of Civilians, Peaceful Resolution of Conflicts, Mutual Respect among Different Faiths, Cultures

    NEW YORK, 14 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's statement at the Security Council Summit on threats to peace and security in New York today, 14 September:

    I am honoured to be with you today.  The subject you are debating -- threats to peace and security -- is a broad and complex one.  There are any number of aspects fully deserving of your attention -- including the need to prevent conflict in Africa.  On the latter, crucial issue, I consider it thoroughly appropriate that at this summit, you have reflected the priority it deserves -- as is the case in the daily work of the Security Council.

    On this occasion, I will focus my remarks on efforts to combat international terrorism in all its forms.  Terrorism constitutes a direct attack on the values the United Nations stands for:  the rule of law; the protection of civilians; peaceful resolution of conflicts; and mutual respect between people of different faiths and cultures.

    We must be at the forefront of the fight against terrorism.  That is why, this year, on the anniversary of the Madrid bombings, I proposed a comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy for the United Nations.

    I am heartened that the World Summit outcome document has welcomed elements of that strategy, and committed to their early consideration in the sixtieth General Assembly.

    The strategy consists of actions in five areas.

    First, we must work to dissuade disaffected groups from choosing terrorism as a tactic.  That means the international community should complete a comprehensive convention that outlaws terrorism in all its forms.  It also means civil society and religious leaders must raise their voices against terrorism.  We must all make clear, as all Member States affirm in the Summit outcome document, that terrorism "committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes" can never be accepted or justified.

    Second, we must deny terrorists the means to carry out their attacks -- above all weapons of mass destruction.  The ongoing implementation of Security Council resolutions is critical.  And five months ago, the General Assembly reached a milestone by approving the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.  I hope States will accede to this convention without delay.

    Third, we must deter States from supporting terrorists.  All States must know that, if they provide support for terrorists in any form, this Council will not hesitate to take coercive measures against them.

    Fourth, we must develop State capacity to prevent terrorism.  That includes promoting good governance and the rule of law.  In that context, I welcome the establishment of the United Nations Democracy Fund, and I thank the nearly 30 States who have provided it with generous support.

    Fifth, we must defend human rights.  This is essential if we are to prevent terrorists from unravelling the very fabric of societies they attack.

    Finally, let us never forget the victims of terrorism.  This Council has agreed to explore the possibility of an international fund to compensate victims and their families, to be financed in part by assets seized from terrorist organizations.  I hope you will give this your active consideration.

    And I hope you will give your full backing to the points of the strategy I have outlined.  Let us ensure the United Nations plays its role in this fight to the full.

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