For release on delivery
ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC CONFERENCE HAS CENTRAL ROLE IN DEVISING EFFECTIVE STRATEGY
TO COMBAT TERRORISM, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS
Following is the text of a message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan (to be delivered by Ibrahim Gambari, Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Africa) to the Organization of Islamic Conference Extraordinary Foreign Minister Conference in Doha on 10 October:
Immediately after the 11 September attacks on the United States, the United Nations Security Council expressed its determination to combat by all means threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council also reaffirmed the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The States concerned have set their current military action in Afghanistan in that context.
Separately, last week, the General Assembly concluded a very important debate on terrorism. And the Assembly’s work on terrorism could lead to the adoption of a comprehensive legal convention, adding to the existing more specialized instruments. These resolutions and legal instruments need to be fully implemented by all nations.
Worldwide, there is a rare sense of unity, human solidarity and purpose that can serve as a lasting foundation for the fight against global terrorism. The OIC has a central role in devising an effective strategy to combat terrorism, not least because your Member States have themselves suffered from terrorism. The OIC has immediately condemned the recent specific attacks, and you have helped convince the international community that Islam and terrorism are not the same, never were and never will be. Let me urge you, however, to continue this service to Islam and to Muslims everywhere who may be viewed with suspicion or hostility and need this message of the inherently peaceful and tolerant nature of Islam to be more widely heard and accepted.
The people of Afghanistan, who cannot be held responsible for the actions of the Taliban regime, are now in desperate need of aid. The United Nations has long played a vital role in providing humanitarian assistance to them, and it is my hope that we will be able to step up our humanitarian work as soon as possible.
It is also vital that the international community now work harder than ever to encourage a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan. The United
Nations is actively engaged in promoting the creation of a fully representative, multi-ethnic and broad-based Afghan Government.
For the United Nations, it is essential that the global response to terrorism be truly universal and not divisive. To defeat terrorism, we need a sustained effort and a broad strategy that unite all nations, and address all aspects of the scourge we face.
We have all been reminded of the need to address the conditions that contribute to the growth of violence, depravity and terrorism. The United Nations will continue to address the ills of hatred, ignorance, conflict and poverty wherever they are found. But every nation and every people have a responsibility to contribute to the fight against terrorism by ensuring that differences and disputes are resolved through political means, and not through violence.
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