SECURITY COUNCIL HONOURS MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF 11 SEPTEMBER ATTACKS, EXPRESSES SENSE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THEIR FAMILIES

11 September 2002
SC/7500

SECURITY COUNCIL HONOURS MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF 11 SEPTEMBER ATTACKS, EXPRESSES SENSE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THEIR FAMILIES

11/09/2002
Press ReleaseSC/7500

Security Council

4607th Meeting (PM)

SECURITY COUNCIL HONOURS MEMORY OF VICTIMS OF 11 SEPTEMBER ATTACKS,

EXPRESSES SENSE OF SOLIDARITY WITH THEIR FAMILIES

United States Secretary of State Colin Powell Urges

International Community To Maintain Anti-Terrorism Struggle

The Security Council this afternoon adopted a statement (document S/PRST/2002/25) read out by its President at the conclusion of a high-level meeting convened to pay solemn tribute to the memory of the victims of the terrorist acts of 11 September 2001 and to express sympathy to their families.  Previously, the Council had heard statements by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and United States Secretary of State Colin Powell.

The Secretary-General stressed that no body had a more central role to play in meeting the challenge of terrorism than the Security Council.  In the year since the attacks, the Council had fulfilled that role with persistence, creativity and determination, demonstrating how vital it was to forge the broadest possible international coalition in the struggle to defeat terrorism.  The United Nations remained uniquely positioned to serve as the forum for such a coalition.

In his statement, United States Secretary of State Colin Powell called on the international community to maintain the campaign against terrorism.  Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international coalition that emerged following last year’s attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C., and in Pennsylvania, terrorists had been arrested, their financial bloodlines disrupted and their networks dismantled.  But the fight must be carried beyond the events of

11 September 2001.  The world must be prepared for a long and difficult struggle to be measured not in months but in years.

In his statement on behalf of the Council, Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria, which holds the Council presidency for the month of September, urged all States and all regional and subregional organizations to maintain and strengthen their cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and with the Committee created by Council resolution 1267 of 1999 on sanctions against the Taliban.

Following the President’s statement, the Council observed a minute of silence.

The meeting, which began at 12:52 p.m., adjourned at 1:13 p.m.

Statement by Secretary-General

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, KOFI ANNAN, said 11 September was one of those cataclysmic events that would stay forever fresh and vivid in memory.  Recalling that “terrible, dark day”, he expressed his profound sympathy with the people of the United States and his deepest condolences to the families of the thousands of men and women from more than 90 countries who had been murdered that morning.  They represented a United Nations of world citizens, coming together in one city to seek a better future for themselves and their families.  Their deaths had diminished all mankind, “and all mankind must come together to restore the sanctity of the values we hold dear -– tolerance, pluralism, peace and respect for every human life”, he said.

The United Nations had been founded to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and today the nations were united to defend humanity from a new kind of warfare and defeat an enemy that made no distinction between the weak and the strong.  No body had a more central role to play in meeting that challenge than the Security Council.  Over the last year, the Council had fulfilled that role with persistence, creativity and determination.  On the very day after the attacks, the General Assembly and the Security Council had adopted strong resolutions of condemnation.  Subsequently, the Council had unanimously adopted a far-reaching resolution aimed at targeting terrorists and those who harboured, aided or supported them.  The past year had given hope that terrorism could be defeated if the international community summoned the will to unite in a broad coalition.  As the work of the Council had shown, the United Nations remained uniquely positioned to serve as the forum for that coalition.

The legitimacy that the United Nations conveyed could ensure that the greatest number of States were able and willing to take the necessary and difficult steps -– diplomatic, legal and political -– required to defeat terrorism.  Today, one year after the attacks, the importance of global legitimacy in the fight against terrorism had only grown, he said, and called on the Council to strive even harder to ensure that the struggle ahead won the widest possible support.  “All humanity has a stake in this fight."  "The United Nations must ensure that it is fought in unison, and won in a legitimate way."

Statement by United States Secretary of State

COLIN POWELL, Secretary of State of the United States, said the Council had gathered on this solemn anniversary to honour the deaths of the men and women of every continent, culture, religion and creed who had perished in the terrorist attacks of 11 September.  The grief of their families was still fresh.  The past 12 months had been a calendar filled with daily reminders of loss.  Their absences were as palpable as the twin towers missing from the New York skyline.

He said 11 September was seared deeply in the national consciousness.  The attacks had drawn people of the United States and from across the globe closer together.  On behalf of President George W. Bush and the people of the United States, he expressed his country's gratitude to those who had reached out.  He said that amidst the fire and smoke, the shock and the chaos, something had become clear:  the terrorists had attacked the values of the whole civilized world, values enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.  The attack was a threat to international peace and security and all nations had to take concerted action.

In defence of those shared values, he said, the world had answered the call for a great global coalition.  The Council had condemned the attacks and made binding commitments.  Much had been accomplished in the past 12 months, not least in Afghanistan, where coalition forces had liberated the people from Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  The Afghan people now had a path to a representative government.  The contributions of donor nations would help the Afghan people in the reconstruction of their country.

Elsewhere, the international community was making it harder for the terrorists to move weapons, communicate and plot.  Terrorists were being arrested, their financial bloodlines disrupted.  Those actions had shown the power of the international community’s collective will, he said.

From the beginning, all had recognized that the fight had to be more than a reaction to the attacks.  It was about the elimination of terrorism as a global menace.  It must be a long and sustained effort.  Long after the skyline had been filled with a fitting monument, long after the walls of the Pentagon had been repaired, long after nature had mended the gash in Pennsylvania, the country had to remain resolute.  Terrorism was antithetical to the kind of world the United Nations had been founded to establish.  On behalf of President Bush, he recommitted the United States to the common fight against terrorism and to construction of a world of peace, prosperity and freedom in which terrorism could not thrive.

Statement by Council President

GEORGI PARVANOV, Security Council President and President of Bulgaria, said on behalf of the Council that its members today honoured the innocents killed and injured in the attacks of 11 September 2001, and expressed solidarity with their families and admiration for New York City's determination to forge ahead and rebuild.

The Council, he said, affirmed that the attacks were an assault on global civilization, challenging United Nations Member States to rise to the task of defeating terrorism.  Recounting the actions of the international community, the United Nations and the Security Council in that task, he said a broad coalition had taken action against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their supporters.

In addition, he said, the Council applauded those from every corner of the world who had provided support for Afghans to rebuild, and honoured those who had died in that common effort.  It called on all States and regional organizations to build on their cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established by resolution 1267 (1999) of the Security Council.

Presidential Statement

The full text of presidential statement S/PRST/2002/25 reads, as follows:

"The Security Council meets today in remembrance and resolve.  One year ago, infamous and horrifying acts of terrorism took almost 3,000 innocent lives.  They included nationals of half the countries of the world.  These attacks changed the way we see our world.  Today, the Council honours those innocents killed and

injured in the attacks of 11 September 2001.  The Council expresses solidarity with their families.

"New York is the home of the United Nations.  The Security Council admires this city's determination to forge ahead, to rebuild, not to give in to terrorism. The deaths and destruction of 11 September strengthen our common bonds and aspirations.  The Council affirms that these attacks were an assault on global civilization and our common efforts to make the world a better and safer place. The world saw terrorists use civilian aircraft for mass murder.  They struck at the ideals embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.  The attacks challenged each member to rise to the task of defeating terrorism, which has claimed victims in all corners of the world.

"Following 11 September 2001, both the General Assembly and the Security Council reacted in outrage and condemnation.  They demanded that those responsible for these crimes be brought to justice.  The Council described such acts, like any acts of international terrorism, as threats to international peace and security.

"The international community has responded to the atrocities of 11 September with unyielding determination.  A broad coalition of States has taken action against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and their supporters.  It did so in defence of common values and common security.  Consistent with the high purposes of this institution and the provisions of the United Nations Charter, the coalition continues to pursue those responsible.

"The international community as a whole provides vital support as Afghans rebuild their country.  The Council applauds the efforts of so many from every continent and corner of the world.  And, today, the Council also honours those who died in this common effort.

"The Security Council gave substance to its determination to combat international terrorism with its historic resolution 1373 (2001).  In it, we made the fight against terrorism a mandatory obligation of the international community, consistent with the United Nations Charter and international law.  The Council's Counter-Terrorism Committee promotes cooperation and works to achieve the effective implementation of resolution 1373 (2001).  The Council has also established and oversees the worldwide sanctions regime against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"The Security Council calls on all States and regional and subregional organizations to carry forward and build on their cooperation with the Counter-Terrorism Committee and the Committee established by resolution 1267 (1999) of the Security Council.

"The threat is real, the challenge is enormous, and the fight against terrorism will be long.  The Security Council will remain steadfast against the threat that endangers all that has been achieved, and all that remains to be achieved, to fulfil the principles and purposes of the United Nations for all people everywhere.

"Now let us remember and reflect with a minute of silence."

For information media. Not an official record.