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Annan reaffirms Security Council's central role in global fight against terrorism

Annan reaffirms Security Council's central role in global fight against terrorism

Secretary of State Powell, Kofi Annan
Stressing the central role of the United Nations Security Council in the global fight against terrorism, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called on the 15-member body to strive even harder to ensure that the struggle ahead is fought in unison, and won in a legitimate way.

"We are called upon to defeat an enemy that makes no distinction between the weak and the strong, the high or the low - an enemy who sees as a target the entire edifice of international cooperation to which the United Nations is dedicated," the Secretary-General said in a statement to an open meeting of the Council convened to pay solemn tribute to the memory of the victims of last year's terrorist attacks against the United States.

Recalling the persistence, creativity and determination shown by the Council in building the broadest possible coalition against terrorism, the Secretary-General said the past year has given hope that the scourge could be defeated.

"As the work of this Council has shown, the United Nations remains uniquely positioned to serve as the forum for this coalition, and for the development of those steps governments must now take - separately and together - to combat terrorism on a global scale," Mr. Annan told the meeting chaired by President Georgi Purvanov of Bulgaria, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the 15-member body.

"The legitimacy that the United Nations conveys can ensure that the greatest number of States are able and willing to take the necessary and difficult steps - diplomatic, legal and political - that are needed to defeat terrorism," he added. "Today, one year after the attacks, the importance of global legitimacy in the fight against terrorism has only grown."

In his statement to the meeting, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said his country was deeply grateful for the outpouring of international support it received following the attacks of 11 September 2001, and was fully committed to a common struggle against terrorism.

The attacks, Mr. Powell said, had brought together people from the United States and across the globe. Amidst the fire and smoke, the shock and the chaos, something had become clear - the terrorists had attacked the values of the whole civilized world. In defence of those values, the world had answered the call for a great global coalition to fight terrorism, which had accomplished much in the past 12 months, not least in Afghanistan.

The collective will of the international community had made it harder for terrorists to operate, but the total elimination of terrorism as a global menace must be a long, sustained effort, he said, adding that the United States and the world had to remain resolute.