Responding with shock and revulsion at the "cold-blooded viciousness" of yesterday's terrorist attacks in the United States, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on all countries to join forces to root out those responsible.
"All nations of the world must work together to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice," Mr. Annan told a meeting of the Security Council held under what he described as "exceptionally grave circumstances."
"Our host country, and this host city, have been subjected to a terrorist attack which horrifies us all," the Secretary-General said. "We do not yet know the full extent of the damage, but it seems certain that thousands of people have lost their lives and many have suffered dreadful injuries."
The Secretary-General pointed out that "a terrorist attack on one country is an attack on humanity as a whole."
Condemning the attack and those who planned it in the strongest possible terms, Mr. Annan extended "our most profound sympathy" to the victims, to their loved ones, and to the people and Government of the United States. "More than that, we must express our solidarity with the Government and people in this hour of trial," he said.
The Council then observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the attacks.
The General Assembly is expected to convene at 3 p.m. to formally open its annual session, postponed from yesterday after the UN was evacuated during the crisis.