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Terror attacks struck at UN and must spur action, Mayor Giuliani tells Assembly

Terror attacks struck at UN and must spur action, Mayor Giuliani tells Assembly

Mayor Giuliani addresses UN General Assembly
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly before it opened its weeklong debate on measures to combat international terrorism, the Mayor of New York City, Rudolph Giuliani, today stressed that the recent terrorist attacks against the United States violated the UN's principles and must spur it to resolute action.

"This was not just an attack on the City of New York or on the United States of America; it was an attack on the very ideal of a free, inclusive and civil society," said Mayor Giuliani. "It was a direct assault on the founding principles of the United Nations itself," he added, pointing out that "this vicious attack places in jeopardy" the UN's whole purpose.

The Mayor said he had been heartened by the spontaneous response to the attacks demonstrated by the leaders and peoples of UN Member States. "Your support for New York and America, and your understanding of what needs to be done to remove the threat of terrorism gives us great, great hope that we will prevail," he said.

Mayor Giuliani said it was "tragic and perverse" that the US was under attack because of its ideals, while adding that "the best long-term deterrent to terrorism, obviously, is the spread of the principles of freedom and democracy and the rule of law and respect for human rights." Terrorists had no ideals, so their only response was to strike out at innocent civilians.

"The United Nations must hold accountable any country that supports or condones terrorism, otherwise you will fail in your primary mission of peacekeeper," he said, calling on the world body to ostracize any nation that supports terrorism, and isolate any nation that remains neutral in the fight against terrorism. "This is not a time for further study or vague directives," he said.

Mr. Giuliani challenged those who said that there were reasons for terrorism to "come with me to the thousands of funerals we're having in New York City - thousands - and explain those insane, maniacal reasons to the children who will grow up without fathers and mothers and to the parents who have had their children ripped from them for no reason at all." Instead, he said, UN Member States should "allow me to say at those funerals that your nations stand with America in making a solemn promise and pledge that we will achieve unconditional victory over terrorism and terrorists."

In his remarks welcoming Mr. Giuliani to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the Mayor's efforts in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, saying that "we have drawn strength from your leadership, your resilience, your commitment to the tolerance and diversity that have made New York such a magnet and such an outstanding world capital."

The Secretary-General emphasized that the UN was united with New York in both its grief and its resolve to help those who have suffered, pointing out that UN staff had raised more than $100,000 for the relief effort while UN tour guides were volunteering for the American Red Cross.

Above all, Mr. Annan said, the UN was united with New York in its determination to root out terrorism. "If there is one message I took away from the tour of 'ground zero' you provided two weeks ago, it is that the world must come together to defeat this menace," he said.