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24 September 2001

Text: U.S. Statement on UN Role in Fighting Terrorism

(UN must marshal international efforts) (690)
United Nations -- The United Nations must play a role in marshalling
the international community's long-term efforts to defeat terrorists,
U.S. Ambassador Cameron Hume said September 24.
Speaking during a General Assembly debate on the work of the UN, Hume
said that the assembly's October l discussion on measures to eliminate
international terrorism will be an important forum through which the
international community can propose strong steps to combat terrorism.
UN efforts will require "absolute clarity that the international
community condemns and rejects any effort to offer false justification
for the attack or to protect those who committed it," he said.
"This is a crucial moment for the United Nations," the ambassador
said. "It has a chance to live up to the ideals on which it was
founded."
Following is the text of the ambassador's remarks:
(begin text)
Statement by Ambassador Cameron Hume, Alternate United States
Representative on the Security Council, on the Report of the
Secretary-General On the Work of the Organization, in the General
Assembly Plenary Session
September 24, 2001
Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you, Mr. Secretary General, for
your report. You have underscored the importance of the United Nations
agenda and the work that the UN is committed to and that the entire
membership has a new and overarching challenge after September 11.
My delegation would like to extend heart-felt thanks to all who have
expressed condolences and pledged support in the wake of the terrible
events of September 11. Americans also realize that people from dozens
of other countries have lost their lives in these attacks. This
tragedy is truly global in scope and so must be the response. The
people of the United States also stand with those of you who are
grieving for your own. We offer our deepest sympathies to you and to
your people.
A week from today in this hall, the membership will discuss measures
to eliminate international terrorism. We look forward to this
discussion, which we hope will help promote unity of purpose and
strong steps that the UN can take to combat terror. The UN must play
an international role in marshalling the international community's
long-term efforts to defeat this scourge. These efforts will also
require absolute clarity that the international community condemns and
rejects any effort to offer false justification for the attack or to
protect those who committed it.
Mr. President, Excellencies, this is a crucial moment for the United
Nations. It has a chance to live up to the ideals on which it was
founded. The United States pledges its support to the United Nations.
We are eager to work with other member states to improve the
organization and to support the work of the Secretary General. His
report shows that the UN's agenda remains broad. And we will continue
to work on this agenda even as we focus immediately on the overarching
challenge of international terrorism.
Mr. President, the effort to reform the United Nations has made
progress in recent years. This progress must continue. One specific
action the U.N. can take immediately -- and is in fact overdue to take
-- is to put sunset provisions in place. Sunset provisions would
ensure that UN program activities do not go on and on unless their
relevance and effectiveness are regularly affirmed. This reform
measure is covered by the Secretary-General's report, and it has been
on the table since 1997. The United States looks forward to more
productive work with the UN membership on this and on many other
reform matters during the 56th General Assembly.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies. Great challenges
lie ahead for this organization. The United States believes that it is
in the vital interest of the world community to enhance the relevance
of the United Nations. And the United States vows to work with all of
you to achieve that end.
(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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