11 September 2006 Marking five years since the September 11 attacks on the United States, Secretary-General Kofi Annan today said they were directed against “humanity itself,” as he urged all Member States to honour the victims of terrorism everywhere by implementing a new strategy that the world body adopted last week to fight the global scourge.
“The attacks of 11 September 2001 cut us all to the core, for they were an attack on humanity itself. Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and with all those who lost loved ones in the tragedy…And we remember all those who have fallen victim to other acts of terrorism around the world,” Mr. Annan said in a statement.
“Last Friday’s adoption by the General Assembly of a United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy sends a clear message that terrorism is unacceptable…I urge all Member States to honour the victims of terrorism everywhere by taking swift action to implement all aspects of the strategy. In this way, they will demonstrate the international community’s unwavering determination to defeat terrorism.”
The strategy, in the form of a resolution and a plan of action, includes practical steps at the local, national and international level – ranging from strengthening the capacity of individual States to prevent and combat terrorism to ensuring that human rights and the rule of law are always respected in the fight against terrorism.
Speaking after the strategy was adopted by consensus at UN Headquarters in New York, General Assembly President Jan Eliasson said “we should consider this as a great achievement for the General Assembly, which has established itself in the area of fighting terrorism.”
Acknowledging that the 12 months of negotiations had sometimes been “troublesome,” Mr. Eliasson said the definition of terrorism remained a source of contention for many nations.
But he said it was a sign of the mutual commitment to defeating terrorism that States were able to overcome their differences and find enough areas of common ground to devise a strategy.
The strategy makes clear that it is vital to consistently, unequivocally and strongly condemn terrorism in all forms and manifestations, committed by whomever and for whatever purposes. Terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group