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13 September 2001

Text: Ambassador Cunningham Statement to U.N. General Assembly

(He says U.S., U.N. membership united in face of terror) (830)
The condemnation and sense of resolve expressed by U.N. members
following the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and
Washington demonstrate that "we are united and strong in the face of
terror," says Ambassador James Cunningham, the acting U.S. permanent
representative to the United Nations.
In remarks to the U.N. General Assembly September 12, Cunningham said
that U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, in his statement on the
attacks and his decision to evacuate the United Nations, "recognized
that the attack on the United States was also an attack on the U.N.
The entire international community and the shared values upon which
this institution was founded are under assault."
"Because this attack struck at all of us, it is right that we should
work toward a coalition to defend our shared values against terrorism.
Working in coalition, we can multiply the effectiveness of our
response," the ambassador said.
Following is the text of Ambassador Cunningham's statement:
(begin text)
USUN PRESS RELEASE #124(01) September 12, 2001 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Acting U.S. Permanent
Representative to the United Nations, On the Terrorist Attacks in the
United States, General Assembly, September 12, 2001
Mr. President,
First, on behalf of the United States, I want also to congratulate you
on your assumption of the presidency of the 56th Session of the
General Assembly and to pledge my government's full support for your
success and for the success of this session.
Obviously, Mr. President, the hearts of all Americans are heavy today.
I want to thank you for your words of condolence and sympathy for the
victims and their families. I would like to personally convey the
gratitude of President Bush and the American people to all the many
world leaders and all the others around the world who have shown their
support and offered their assistance in this time of grief.
I want also to say a special word of appreciation to the
Secretary-General for his condolences and particularly his remarks
about the City of New York and its public servants and his call for a
firm and united response.
Friends and colleagues, we in this Hall are all New Yorkers at this
time of tragedy. I have been struck by how many of you have expressed
to me that sentiment. And indeed, unfortunately, many non-Americans
will be counted among the victims of this attack. We are all grateful
to the men and women, police and firefighters, doctors and nurses, who
have shown tremendous heroism in coping with the catastrophic
aftermath of the terrible events of September 11, 2001. Our thoughts
and prayers go to all the victims and their families. We will grieve,
and we will heal.
Your decision to open the 56th General Assembly was the right one. I
appreciate the support and the condolences expressed by the UN
membership and the condemnation and the sense of resolve expressed in
the comments today. Together, we have demonstrated here in the
historic hall of the General Assembly that we are united and strong in
the face of terror.
In his statement on the attacks of September 11 and his decision to
evacuate the United Nations, the Secretary General recognized that the
attack on the United States was also an attack on the UN. The entire
international community and the shared values upon which this
institution was founded are under assault. Security Council Resolution
1368, passed just hours ago, demonstrates the determination of the
international community to confront and triumph over this evil, as
will the General Assembly Resolution that we are about to address.
Yesterday's attack requires that we choose sides between the values of
human rights and democracy, held dear by all decent people, or
terrorism and the law of the jungle. There are those who oppose
terrorism and those who use it. There should be no doubt: we will deal
with those who support and harbor terrorists as we deal with the
terrorists themselves.
Because this attack struck at all of us, it is right that we should
work toward a coalition to defend our shared values against terrorism.
Working in coalition, we can multiply the effectiveness of our
response.
The victims of this attack and their families need our prayers and the
certain knowledge of a unified response. We owe to them and ourselves
swift action to find those responsible for these attacks and bring
them to justice.
None of us or our children will forget yesterday's horrifying images.
They will become unfortunate but indelible icons of the 21st century.
Let this serve as a constant reminder of the need to eliminate this
scourge, and of the need for determination and action to do so.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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