Powell Urges U.N. to Fight Terror
NEW YORK – Secretary of State Colin Powell prefaced President Bush's upcoming address at the United Nations General Assembly with a speech Wednesday that urged the body to reject terrorism in any form.
"Terrorism is antithetical to the betterment of the world sought by this body since the United Nations was founded," Powell told the U.N. Security Council.
Powell praised the international community for its "outpouring of sympathy and solidarity" following last Sept. 11, including its anti-terror resolutions that aimed to freeze assets of terror-related groups.
"Thanks to our combined efforts, every day somewhere in the world, terrorists are being arrested, their cells are being broken up, their financial bloodlines are being severed, their plans are being disrupted, their attacks are being foiled," he said.
But he added the global fight must expand beyond "terrorism's deadly grip on various parts of the globe, not least on Afghanistan" but on "terrorism as a global menace."
Following a commemorative ceremony outside the United Nations building, where security is extraordinarily tight, the Council released a statement calling on all 190 member nations to fulfill their "mandatory obligation" to combat international terrorism.
"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," it said. "The attacks challenged each member to rise to the task of defeating terrorism, which has claimed victims in all corners of the world."
That release echoed remarks by Secretary General Kofi Annan, who said that the attacks hit the entire world community.
"More than 90 nations lost sons and daughters of their own -- murdered that day, for no other reason than they had chosen to live in this country," he said. "Today, we come together as a world community because we were attacked as a world community."
While the United Nations may be on board to defeat terrorism by "acting as one," according to Annan, Bush may find it a harder sell to convince the body to go after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, which the United States accuses of developing weapons of mass destruction in defiance of U.N. resolutions.
He will make his case Thursday in a speech to the General Assembly that officials say will not offer new evidence, but rely on information already taken from more than a decade of defiance by the Iraqi leader.
The tone of the speech will be "What more do we need to know?" said an administration officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Security Council President Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, said he did not have any suggestions for what President Bush should say. He stated that Bulgaria has expressed its commitment to the goals of the anti-terror coalition and insists the Security Council force Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to comply with U.N. resolutions.
Through an interpreter, Parvanov added that under Bulgaria's presidency, the Security Council is committed to taking more firm actions to force Saddam to comply with those resolutions. The 15 members of the Council agreed in the statement read by Parvanov that "the Security Council will remain steadfast against the threat that endangers all that has been achieved, and all that remains to be achieved, to fulfill the principles and purposes of the United Nations for all people everywhere."
Outside the meeting room, however, Parvanov said that he can not forecast the degree of firmness the council will exercise against Iraq since each country is coming into the meetings with their own agendas.