Global perspective Human stories

Annan predicts that global anti-terror coalition will hold

Annan predicts that global anti-terror coalition will hold

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today predicted that the global anti-terrorism coalition which was forged in the wake of last month's attacks against the United States would hold as the long-term struggle to defeat the scourge unfolds.

"My sense is that [terrorism] is a threat to all Member States, and they realize they need to come together to fight it," Mr. Annan told reporters at a press conference in New York. "I'm quite hopeful that for the long-term we will have a viable group fighting terrorism and in the end we will succeed."

The Secretary-General noted that the effort would involve both the broad coalition based on the work of the Security Council and the General Assembly, as well as the narrower military coalition. "You're going to get into other areas where there is information-sharing and intelligence; another group of countries will come together to do that," he added.

The war against terrorism, he emphasized, would be "a long-term struggle in terms of making sure that terrorists are not given shelter, that their financial mechanisms are broken up, that they don't have the logistical support, and it's going to take quite a while to ensure that all governments are working on that basis."

"The military aspect which for the moment we are all focused on is going to be a very small part of the fight in the long run," he added.

Member States were already cooperating in the battle, he observed. "That does not mean that there will not be tensions and some difficulties within nations and even within the coalition as we go ahead, but that is also natural, and I'm sure one will also find a way of resolving the tensions and differences and moving forward, because we all agreed on the common objective of containing terrorism."

The Secretary-General also underscored the cooperative relationship between Washington and the UN. "We are working very, very well with the US Government and the US administration right now," he said. "Their new ambassador is here, the payment has been made, and I suspect as we move forward payments will be made in time, in full and on a regular basis."