12/09/01
Press Release
SC/7143



Security Council

4370th Meeting (PM)


SECURITY COUNCIL CONDEMNS, ‘IN STRONGEST TERMS’,

TERRORIST ATTACKS ON UNITED STATES


Unanimously Adopting Resolution 1368 (2001),

Council Calls on All States to Bring Perpetrators to Justice


The Security Council today, following what it called yesterday’s "horrifying terrorist attacks" in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, unequivocally condemned those acts, and expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the people and Government of the United States.


Council members departed from tradition and stood to unanimously adopt resolution 1368 (2001), by which they expressed the Council's readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the attacks of 11 September and to combat all forms of terrorism in accordance with its Charter responsibilities.


In a related provision, the Council called on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those terrorist attacks and stressed that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring them would be held accountable.


Also by the text, the Council held that any act of international terrorism was a threat to international peace and security.  It also called on the international community to redouble its efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including by increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Council resolutions. 


Addressing the meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that everyone felt “deep shock and revulsion at the cold-blooded viciousness of this attack”.  He condemned it and those who planned it –- whoever they might be -– in the strongest possible terms.  He extended his most profound sympathy to the victims and their loved ones.  A terrorist attack on one country was an attack on all humanity, he said.


One by one, Council members expressed shock and grief at yesterday's attacks and offered their deepest condolences and support for the Government and people of the United States.  Many agreed that the whole world, and not just one country, had been plunged into an unprecedented time of peril, fear and uncertainty.


The Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations thanked members and world leaders for their support on that dark day.  Indeed, yesterday's event had been an assault not just on the United States, but on all who supported peace and democracy and the values for which the United Nations stood, he added.


"We will grieve and we will heal," he said.  His country looked to all of those who stood for peace and justice to stand with it to win the war against terrorism.  Echoing the statement made by United States President George W. Bush last night, he said that no distinction would be made between those who committed those acts and those who harboured the criminals.  The horrific images burned into global memory would serve as a constant reminder to all to stamp out that scourge. 


All permanent members of the Security Council spoke. 


The meeting began at noon and was adjourned at 12:42 p.m.


Resolution


The full text of Security Council resolution 1368 (2001) reads as follows:


“The Security Council,


Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,


Determined to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,


“Recognizing the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter,


“1.   Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks which took place on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington (D.C.) and Pennsylvania and regards such acts, like any act of international terrorism, as a threat to international peace and security;


“2.   Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the People and Government of the United States of America;


“3.   Calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable;


“4.   Calls also on the international community to redouble their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts including by increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1269 of 19 October 1999;


(page 1b follows)


“5.   Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations;


“6.   Decides to remain seized of the matter.”


Background


The Security Council met this afternoon under extraordinary circumstances to consider the total destruction yesterday of the World Trade Centre in New York by two hijacked commercial passenger jets, and subsequent attacks on the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania by other hijacked aircraft


Statements


The President of the Council, JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), extended feelings of sorrow, deep solidarity and condolences to the United States delegation on behalf of the members of the Council


The Council then observed a moment of silence.


KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General, said the Council was meeting today in exceptionally grave circumstances.  The United States, the host country, and New York, the host city, had been subjected to a terrorist attack which had horrified all.  While the full extent of the damage was not yet known, it seemed certain that thousands had lost their lives and many had suffered dreadful injuries.  “All of us feel deep shock and revulsion at the cold-blooded viciousness of the attack”, he said.  “All of us condemn it, and those who planned it –- whoever they may be -– in the strongest possible terms.”


He extended most profound sympathy to the victims, their loved ones and to the people and Government of the United States.  “More than that”, he said, “we must express our solidarity with the American Government and people in this hour.” Terrorism was an international scourge, which the United Nations had many times condemned.  A terrorist attack on one country was an attack on humanity as a whole.  All nations of the world must work together to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, he urged.


Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said yesterday’s events had “taken us all to a place beyond imagining”.  His country was united in deep shock and sympathy with the people of the United States and their determination to wipe out terrorism globally.  His Queen, Elizabeth II, had expressed heartfelt sympathy to the United States President, George W. Bush, and admiration for those trying to cope with the tragedy.


He said the European Union, in a meeting this morning, said yesterday’s act was not only against the United States, but against humanity itself and the life and freedom shared by all.  He said his Prime Minister, Tony Blair, had expressed similar sentiments and called attention to the fact that terrorism was the new evil of today.  The United Kingdom supported the substance of the resolution that the Council was considering.  Yesterday’s act was a global issue, an attack on modern civilization and an affront to the human spirit.  “We must all respond globally”, he said.


ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius) expressed profound shock at yesterday’s events.  He conveyed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government and people of the United States and to the families of the victims.  He unreservedly condemned the inhuman and barbaric terrorist acts, which had claimed the lives of thousands of innocent victims.  He was confident that America would rise up to the challenge and overcome those atrocities.  It had previously shown resilience to such tragic circumstances.


He said that targeting the United States was also aimed at democracy and the free world.  He stood shoulder to shoulder with the American people.  Such cowardly acts had demonstrated that no country was immune to terrorist attacks.  Terrorism knew no boundaries and was a major threat to international peace and security.  That should be addressed comprehensively in the framework of international cooperation.  A summit could be held on the subject.


MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) also extended his deepest condolences with regard to yesterday’s tragic events.  He firmly condemned those barbarous attacks, and hoped for the recovery of many more victims.  He was sorry for those who had lost their lives.  He would go along with any decision of the Council in that regard.


VALERY P. KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said that yesterday’s events were a terrible catastrophe and a terrible loss for America.  He admired the firefighters and policemen, indeed, the whole American nation.  His Foreign Minister, in reaction yesterday, had expressed his deepest indignation at the unprecedented outbreak of terrorism.  That crime had been primarily directed against civilians, but was a direct challenge to the entire civilized world.  Whoever was behind it had put themselves beyond the laws of human civilization and deserved a just and inevitable punishment.


The magnitude of the events was way beyond terrorism as the world had so far known it, he said.  With the new technologies and changed nature of the world, a handful of angry people was enough to cause havoc.  New definitions and new strategies had to be evolved for those new forms of terrorism.  Yesterday’s date of 11 September could be an international day to combat terrorism.  A ministerial meeting of the Council should be convened to discuss its response to international terrorism.


KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) conveyed deepest condolences to the victims, their families, the people and Government of the United States.  Both his President and Prime Minister had also conveyed their condolences to President Bush.  His delegation joined others in condemning the acts of terrorism and had consistently taken the position that terrorism should not be condoned. Yesterday's events demonstrated that the international community must come together to address terrorism.  Several proposals had been tabled this morning, and his delegation supported all of them.  He now hoped the Council would urgently address the issue before it.


NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) expressed deep sympathy to the United States, which had been an old friend of his country for almost 200 years.  His President had also expressed his condolences and categorical condemnation of yesterday's act.  His delegation extended compassion and solidarity to the United States' delegation and the families left behind and joined in sharing their grief.  The tragedy yesterday was an unacceptable and odious crime against innocent people that no cause could justify.  The attack was an affront to humanity, and he condemned the actors behind the tragedy.  It was time for the international community to root out the madness and cooperate in preventing and combating terrorism, as well as organized crime.


RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said the attack yesterday was a barbaric and evil one that had been committed against innocent people.  It was also an attack against all humanity.  He extended deep and heartfelt sympathies on behalf of the Irish Government.  The European Union, in a special session today, had expressed its horror at yesterday's attack.  The people of Europe and Ireland would have an observance for yesterday's tragedy on Friday.  The United States should know that it was not alone in its grief and revulsion and that decent people from all parts of the world and from all religions joined it.  Respect for freedom and the right to live in dignity were at the core of the United Nations and those who committed the acts yesterday had sought to destroy that.  The responsible parties were the enemies of all people, peace and justice.  They would not be allowed to destroy the goals and visions of the Organization.


WANG YINGFAN (China) expressed deep shock and strong condemnation at yesterday’s attacks.  His Government had already expressed that in messages to United States President George W. Bush and United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, as well as its profound sympathy to the people of the United States and deep condolences to the victims. 


He said that international terrorism seriously endangered human society and the political and economic order of countries.  It also seriously threatened international peace and security.  His country opposed all terrorist violence.  Yesterday’s attacks, which stunned the world, took place in the United States, but represented an open challenge to the international community as a whole.  He supported the United Nations in its work to combat it and to bring to justice its perpetrators.  The Council should also play a strong role.


SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the United States had come up against an unprecedented act of aggression from international terrorism.  He expressed his deepest condolences to the people and victims, and to the Government.  Yesterday’s events were a brazen challenge to all of humankind and, once again, emphasized the timeliness of the task of combating terrorism –- that plague of the twenty-first century. 


He said that the draft resolution today showed the resolve of Council members to do everything possible to ensure not one single terrorist act went unpunished.  The Russian President yesterday had said that his country knew terrorism very well and understood the feelings of Americans.  He expressed the solidarity of his country with the United States.


M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said that the horrible acts of terrorism perpetrated yesterday on American soil had plunged the entire world into an unprecedented period of peril, fear and uncertainty.  She shared the shock, grief and anger of the American Government and its people who had suffered untold casualties and enormous material damage.  The masterminds, and those in collusion with them, must be brought to justice, and the global community must demonstrate a solid front to defeat terrorism.


She conveyed to the American Government and to the people of that country -- in particular, to those who had lost loved ones or were injured -- her sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy.  Jamaica’s Prime Minister had already conveyed those sentiments to President Bush.  Today’s meeting was an important opportunity for the Council to reaffirm its condemnation of terrorism. 

SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh) said his country was still shocked by the very heavy human toll and material losses that occurred yesterday in the United States. His Government had already strongly condemned the terrorist act.  Today, he wished to express condolences to the people and Government of the United States.  Bangladesh also fully supported the terms of the draft resolution to be adopted


OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said many lives had been lost yesterday, and his country was prepared to extend all assistance. Yesterday's attacks were not only directed against the United States but at freedom and democracy as well.  "It was an attack against all of us", he said.  President Bush must ensure that the perpetrators were pursued and that they felt the full weight of the law.  The Council must also show its support for that.  Democracy would prevail over evil -- countless people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania had proved themselves to be truly heroic.


ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said the attacks yesterday were not only against the United States, but against the entire community of civilized people and their values.  Yesterday, his country had rejected the cowardly attack. Nothing could justify innocent victims paying with their lives for the intolerance of fanatics.  Additional security was needed in New York and other places.  The Council also needed to respond with greater commitment in its efforts to reach the decision expected by the international community.  Terrorism could not be allowed to prevail.  He supported the adoption of immediate measures by the Council, which was in keeping with that body's mandate.


JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), Council President, called yesterday a "day of horror", which would forever leave its mark on the lives of all.  The scourge of terrorism on 11 September had destroyed thousands of innocent American lives.  Like all of the European Union, whose Ministers had just forcefully expressed themselves, France stood side by side with the United States in that time of trial.  To all victims and families and to all Americans, he expressed his condolences and commitment of fraternal solidarity.  In the face of what constituted an attack upon all mankind and against the values and principles embodied in the United Nations Charter, it was a time for unity and resolve. 


He said that, all together, everyone must say that nothing ever again in any place in the world would justify resort to terrorism.  All together, the view must be taken that those monstrous acts of yesterday were a challenge to the international community as a whole.  France stood with the United States in deciding upon any appropriate action to combat those who resorted to terrorism and who aided or protected the perpetrators.  A global strategy was needed, for which the Council should play a significant role.


JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) thanked the members for their kind words and support and for their resolve and condolences to Americans on that dark day. He had also appreciated similar expressions from around the world.  His own thoughts and prayers were with the many who had died or were injured and the many brave fire and police personnel, who continued to work feverishly in response to the attacks.  Last night, President Bush had eloquently addressed the nation and the world on yesterday's outrage.  It had been an assault not just on the United States, but on all who supported peace and democracy and the values for which the United Nations stood. 

His country had suffered a cowardly and evil attack, but would not be shaken in its resolve.  "We will grieve and we will heal", he said.  The United States looked to all those who stood for peace and justice to stand with it to win the war against terrorism.  Indeed, no distinction would be made between those who committed those acts and those who harboured the criminals.  The horrific images burned into global memory would serve as a constant reminder to all to stamp out that scourge. 


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