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‘Collective resistance’ best strategy to fight terrorism, says Ban

‘Collective resistance’ best strategy to fight terrorism, says Ban

The United Nations must head up a cohesive global drive to tackle the scourge of terrorism, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council today.

“The best response to a corrosive, malevolent ideology is a strong assertion of collective resistance,” Mr. Ban said at the open meeting.

As an independent and impartial universal organization, “the United Nations has a responsibility to lead the international community’s efforts to confront this menace, which no cause or grievance can justify,” he added.

The Secretary-General told the 15-member Council that combating terrorism must be one of the world’s top priorities.

“Those armed with planes and guns today could well arrive with more potent force tomorrow,” he warned. “And so those who believe that terror is a legitimate means by which they can achieve their goals must be shown that they will fail.”

At today’s meeting, which heard from over 30 speakers, Mr. Ban spotlighted the various efforts made by the UN to combat the scourge, ranging from Council and General Assembly actions to the advice and technical expertise provided by agencies such as the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

He reminded the Council that in two days, it will be the one-year anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks against UN facilities in Algiers, Algeria, claiming the lives of 17 staff members and injuring 40 others.

“It was all-too-reminiscent of the attack on the UN compound in Baghdad more than five years ago,” the Secretary-General said, referring to the August 2003 attack that killed 22 people, including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello.

In October, two UN staff working in the northern Somali town of Hargeisa were killed after a suicide bombing at the local UN Development Programme (UNDP).

“It is more apparent than ever that the United Nations, too, has become a deliberate target,” Mr. Ban said. “Yet these tragedies have deterred neither our will nor our ability to serve the international community.”

In a presidential statement at the end of the meeting, the Council emphasized the central role of the UN in the global struggle against terrorism and called on States to strengthen their cooperation to find, deny safe haven and bring to justice “on the basis or extradite or prosecute” al those who support, facilitate or participate in financing, planning, preparing or committing terrorist acts or provide safe havens.

“The Security Council condemns in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts and repudiates attempts at the justification or glorification of terrorist acts that may incite further terrorist acts,” the statement said, calling on all Member States to renew the degree of solidarity shown after the 11 September, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States.