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Unity shown in anti-terror effort must spread to tackling other threats – Annan

Unity shown in anti-terror effort must spread to tackling other threats – Annan

Annan addresses Security Council
States fighting terrorism jointly through the United Nations are demonstrating how the world body was meant to be used, and their unity should be replicated in other areas, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

“Member States are for once really using this Organization in the way its founder

intended – as an instrument through which to forge a global defence against a global threat,” said Mr. Annan at the outset of a Security Council meeting devoted to the work of its Counter-Terrorism Committee. “I firmly hope to see the same spirit of unity and resolve manifested in tackling other global threats, ranging from weapons of mass destruction to HIV/AIDS or climate change.”

The Committee’s work has highlighted the links between terrorism and various other illegal activities that the UN has been fighting, like organized crime and gun-running, he said, calling for closer coordination among different UN bodies as part of a more coherent approach to these threats.

Mr. Annan also stressed that “there is no trade-off between effective action against terrorism and the protection of human rights.” Arguing to the contrary, he said “human rights, along with democracy and social justice, are one of the best prophylactics against terrorism.”

In addition, the Secretary-General called attention to the difficulties faced by some States in seeking to fight terrorism. “They are in genuine need of technical and financial assistance if they are to fulfil their obligations,” he said, calling for the CTC to explore assistance programmes to address the problem. He added that if the Committee produced a “precise inventory of needs” in this area, the UN system and international financial institutions could design specific projects in response.

Looking to the future, the Secretary-General called for the urgent development of a long-term anti-terrorism strategy for all countries to defeat the scourge. “I believe they can only do so when the global struggle against terrorism is seen as necessary and legitimate by their peoples – and that such universal legitimacy is something the United Nations can do much to confer,” he said.

Mr. Annan also noted that despite financial constraints still facing the UN, the world body was devoting one quarter of its translation services to terrorism-related documents. “This is an unprecedented effort, which I fear cannot be sustained for long when those very same resources are being reduced by the General Assembly,” he added.