12/09/2002
Press Release
GA/SM/289



‘TERRORISM IS OUR IRRECONCILABLE ENEMY’ SAYS GENERAL ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT


ON ANNIVERSARY OF ATTACKS ON UNITED STATES


Following is the statement of General Assembly President Jan Kavan (Czech Republic) at the “Ceremony of Remembrance” in New York on 11 September:


This morning, we gather here to commemorate the very sad anniversary of the brutal attacks on our host country a year ago.  We grieve for the futile loss of life and we are still in disbelief at these cowardly acts of terror that changed our sense of security forever.


We mourn and remember the innocent victims of September 11th -- the people working at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the passengers of the hijacked planes and the brave members of the Fire Department, the Police Department and the rescue teams.  At the same time, we recall the losses caused indirectly by the attack -- the casualties as a result of the military response in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world.  This only proves that terrorism is a crime without borders.


We are also assembled here to celebrate the courage and selflessness with which the American people responded to this unspeakable tragedy.  The invincible spirit and extraordinary heroism of the people of New York have been an inspiration to us all.  I want to pay tribute to this magnificent city and the immense determination with which it embarked on the way to recovery and the difficult process of healing.


In the wake of September 11th, the international community was able to act with unprecedented unity.  A year later, I would like to appeal on all Member States to uphold and reinforce the international coalition carrying out our common responsibility to fight international terrorism.  In our fight we must see terrorism for what it is -- a global evil filled with hatred and extremism, an evil which threatens the common values and principles, as well as the diversity, of the entire civilized world.  We cannot let terrorism hide behind faith or culture.  Terrorism is our irreconcilable enemy.


While our gathering here today is largely symbolic, in our work at the United Nations we must go beyond words -- we must produce results in the form of practical steps to suppress the menace of terrorism at its roots.


There are understandably many ways to fight terrorism, that can range from military means to economic, political or diplomatic measures.  The world that corresponds to the ideals in the minds of the United Nations founders, a world  free of hunger, poverty, oppression, tension, dictatorships, a tolerant world which upholds human dignity in all situations I believe will be a world without any space, support or fertile soil for terrorism.  To work for such a world is to nip terrorism in its bud.