U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan says the British and U.S. military action in Afghanistan is being carried out in the context of the U.N. charter.
In a recorded statement Monday, Mr. Annan said the military action is self-defense in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations charter. He said that to defeat terrorism, "we need a broad strategy that unites all nations."
As he has many times, the Secretary General drew attention to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. "The people of Afghanistan who cannot be held responsible for the acts of the Taleban 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," he said.
Mr. Annan said it is also vital for the international community to work harder than ever to encourage a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan. He said the United Nations remains actively engaged in promoting the creation of a "fully representative, multi-ethnic and broad-based Afghan government."
In his statement, Mr. Annan did not directly address speculation that the United Nations might set up a transitional government in Afghanistan if the Taleban regime should fall.