Annan urges global effort to fight terror calls attention to needs of

Speaking to reporters as he entered UN Headquarters in New York, Mr. Annan said the struggle against terrorism “is going to be a long one” which would embrace all countries. Noting that various groups might join forces to “do specific things” such as share information or intelligence, he said he would want to see “a broader coalition of UN membership determined to do whatever they can to end this terrorist scourge.” Asked about the UN’s role in this effort, Mr. Annan said the Security Council was likely to take action on the issue, “perhaps with specific proposals as to how governments can cooperate in fighting terrorism.” He added that the General Assembly would also take measures, including by drafting a comprehensive anti-terrorism convention which would pull together the existing 12 UN treaties on the issue. To a question on the situation in Afghanistan, the Secretary-General emphasized the need to bring to justice those responsible for the recent terrorist attacks against the United States. “It is clear we should go after the perpetrators and those who committed this crime but we should also be sensitive to the needs of the Afghan people who have lived through several decades of war, live under a leadership they did not elect freely and cannot remove, and have gone through three years of drought,” he said. “UN humanitarian assistance has been an essential part of their daily existence, so I think it is important that as we move forward we do not forget the needs of the average Afghan.”Asked what message he would like to convey to the Taliban, the Secretary-General replied that they should “honour the obligations that the [Security] Council has demanded of them and – for the sake of their own people and country – to cooperate with the international community in making the culprits accountable by releasing them to the international community.”Security Council sanctions, first imposed on the Taliban after Usama bin Laden was indicted in the US for the bombings of the country’s embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, were tightened last year. Council resolutions demand the handover of bin Laden “to appropriate authorities in a country where he has been indicted or to appropriate authorities in a country where he will be returned to such a country, or to appropriate authorities in a country where he will be arrested and effectively brought to justice.” The Council also demanded that the Taliban act swiftly to close all terrorist training camps in territory under the group’s control.

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