United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today called for a new vision of global security that would respect human rights, confront the threat of terrorism and draw upon the resources and legitimacy of multilateral cooperation.
In a statement to Tilburg University in the Netherlands, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate, the Secretary-General noted the competing claims of sovereignty and intervention, and the balance between the rights of States and the rights of individuals.
"After Srebrenica, after Rwanda, after genocide, all of us need to affirm that sovereignty means responsibilities as well as power; and that among those responsibilities, none is more important than protecting citizens from violence in war," he stressed.
Since the 11 September terror attacks in the United States, there was a danger that crucial liberties could be sacrificed in pursuit of security, the Secretary-General said, adding that any sacrifice of freedom or the rule of law within States could "hand the terrorists a victory that no act of theirs alone could possibly bring."
The Secretary-General and his wife, Nane, had arrived earlier Thursday in The Hague, where they had a private lunch with Queen Beatrix, according to a UN spokesman. After another day of meetings tomorrow in the Netherlands, the couple will travel to France on Sunday before returning to New York next week.