The "brutal and senseless slaughter" of children in the terrorist attack on a school in southern Russia only serves to emphasize the need for the world community to come together in confronting terrorism, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.
Answering questions in his first meeting with reporters at UN Headquarters in New York after his return from three weeks' holiday, Mr. Annan called the hostage-taking at the school in Beslan "terrorism, pure and simple.
"Even without what happened in Beslan, we are all aware of the terrible toll terrorism has taken on people and nations around the world, and the need for the international community of nations to come together and work to confront this phenomenon," he added. "I think what happened in Russia underscores that point even more."
Asked how he assessed future UN operations after the United States elections in November, Mr. Annan reiterated his oft-repeated call for multilateralism and the important role the UN has to play in that field.
"I think we are working well with this administration, and we did work well with the previous administration, and I am confident we'll work well with the next one," he said. "I think many Governments around the world believe that the only way to deal with some of the crises we are confronting is through multilateral efforts, and the UN has an important role to play, and many governments consider the UN an important institution."
Pointing to the European Union as a great example of how regions and governments have demonstrated that coming together to work together enhances the progress of countries and individuals, he added: "So I think on the question of multilateralism, I think the world is on our side."