UN chief calls on all people to stand against terrorism

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pretoria - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all people to stand against terrorism in a special message to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

"To truly honour the memory of those who died -- and the sacrifice of the brave responders who rushed to the scenes of the attacks -- all people must stand against terrorism," Ban said.

Ban said the attacks targeted more than one single country; they were an assault on humanity itself, and on the universal values of peace and dignity the United Nations was created to promote and defend.

"That is why the United Nations stood in solidarity with the United States and with all affected people and countries. The Security Council and General Assembly joined their voices in a chorus that spoke for all countries in condemning the attacks and demanding justice," he said.

Ban said the entire United Nations system had been proceeding fast to intensify an already wide-ranging and long-standing campaign against terrorism since that fateful day.

The world body adopted, for instance, a Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in 2006, the first strategic approach to terror threats ever to be endorsed by the entire UN membership.

The UN has also stepped up its efforts to counter the extremism and polarisation that are so prominent in terrorism's playbook by launching a campaign entitled Alliance of Civilizations to build bridges of trust and mutual understanding.

"At the same time, we continue our long-standing work for peace, efforts that encompass preventive diplomacy, supporting democracy and working to keep failing states from descending into chaos," Ban said.

Recalling the terrorist attack on the UN Nigeria building two weeks ago, Ban said the United Nations has also been a target of terrorism like so many other people and institutions around the world.

"No cause or grievance can ever justify such wanton killing and destruction," the secretary-general said.

"This challenge affects the entire world. The United Nations is determined to honour the memory of those who died 10 years ago by galvanising all countries in this necessary fight to seek justice, promote peace and build a better and more secure future for generations to come."

On September 11, 2001, four United States passenger planes were hijacked and used by terrorists in an attack that destroyed the twin tower office buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon office building housing the US defence department in Washington, D.C., killing more than 3 000 people, most of them innocent civilians. - BuaNews-Xinhua

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