Meeting at the foreign minister level, the United Nations Security Council has unanimously called on all nations to take urgent action to fight terrorism. The meeting began with a minute of silence in honor of those killed in Monday morning's plane crash in New York. Although there was no indication that crash was caused by terrorists, Council members wanted to pay tribute to the victims and their families.
Then, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan began the meeting by observing that there are many different terrorist groups in the world with many different political agendas but that they all have one thing in common. And what they have in common, Mr. Annan said, can never be justified. "There can be no acceptance of those who seek to justify the deliberate taking of innocent civilian life regardless of cause or grievance," he says. Mr. Annan said he is confident that the global unity against terrorism that was forged on September 11 will continue.
Members of the Security Council then joined in expressing their abhorrence of terrorism and their commitment to fight it. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said that, because terrorists operate on a global basis, all nations must cooperate with each other. "Specifically, we need the help of police forces, intelligence services and banking systems around the world to isolate and eradicate our common enemies wherever they may hide," Mr. Powell says.
The Security Council then went on to approve the resolution. Actually, the resolution is largely symbolic, calling on all nations to observe the specific anti-terrorism steps contained in another resolution adopted in late September. However, this latest Council measure does say that some nations may need international assistance in implementing counter-terrorism strategies. If so, the United Nations will provide technical information and advice.