Statement Concerning the Terrorist Attacks
September 12, 2001
The Security Council today, following what it called yesterdays "horrifying
terrorist attacks" in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania, unequivocally
condemned those acts, and expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to
the victims and their families and to the people and Government of the United
Council members departed from tradition and stood to unanimously adopt resolution
1368 (2001), by which they expressed the Council's readiness to take all necessary
steps to respond to the attacks of 11 September and to combat all forms of terrorism
in accordance with its Charter responsibilities.
In a related provision, the Council called on all States to work together urgently
to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those terrorist
attacks and stressed that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring
them would be held accountable.
Also by the text, the Council held that any act of international terrorism was
a threat to international peace and security. It also called on the international
community to redouble its efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts, including
by increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international
anti-terrorist conventions and Council resolutions.
Addressing the meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that everyone felt
deep shock and revulsion at the cold-blooded viciousness of this attack.
He condemned it and those who planned it - whoever they might be -
in the strongest possible terms. He extended his most profound sympathy to the
victims and their loved ones. A terrorist attack on one country was an attack
on all humanity, he said.
One by one, Council members expressed shock and grief at yesterday's attacks
and offered their deepest condolences and support for the Government and people
of the United States. Many agreed that the whole world, and not just one country,
had been plunged into an unprecedented time of peril, fear and uncertainty.
The Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations thanked
members and world leaders for their support on that dark day. Indeed, yesterday's
event had been an assault not just on the United States, but on all who supported
peace and democracy and the values for which the United Nations stood, he
"We will grieve and we will heal," he said. His country looked to
all of those who stood for peace and justice to stand with it to win the war
against terrorism. Echoing the statement made by United States President George
W. Bush last night, he said that no distinction would be made between those
who committed those acts and those who harboured the criminals. The horrific
images burned into global memory would serve as a constant reminder to all to
stamp out that scourge.
All permanent members of the Security Council spoke.
The meeting began at noon and was adjourned at 12:42 p.m.
The full text of Security Council resolution 1368 (2001) reads as follows:
The Security Council,
Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United
Determined to combat by all means threats to international peace and
security caused by terrorist acts,
Recognizing the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence
in accordance with the Charter,
Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist
attacks which took place on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington (D.C.)
and Pennsylvania and regards such acts, like any act of international terrorism,
as a threat to international peace and security;
Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and
their families and to the People and Government of the United States of America;
Calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice
the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses
that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators,
organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable;
Calls also on the international community to redouble their efforts
to prevent and suppress terrorist acts including by increased cooperation
and full implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions
and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1269 of 19 October
Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond
to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of
terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the
Decides to remain seized of the matter.
The Security Council met this afternoon under extraordinary circumstances to
consider the total destruction yesterday of the World Trade Centre in New York
by two hijacked commercial passenger jets, and subsequent attacks on the Pentagon
in Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania by other hijacked aircraft
The President of the Council, JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), extended feelings
of sorrow, deep solidarity and condolences to the United States delegation
on behalf of the members of the Council
The Council then observed a moment of silence.
KOFI ANNAN, Secretary-General, said the Council was meeting today in exceptionally
grave circumstances. The United States, the host country, and New York, the
host city, had been subjected to a terrorist attack which had horrified all.
While the full extent of the damage was not yet known, it seemed certain that
thousands had lost their lives and many had suffered dreadful injuries. All
of us feel deep shock and revulsion at the cold-blooded viciousness of the
attack, he said. All of us condemn it, and those who planned it
- whoever they may be - in the strongest possible terms.
He extended most profound sympathy to the victims, their loved ones and to
the people and Government of the United States. More than that,
he said, we must express our solidarity with the American Government
and people in this hour. Terrorism was an international scourge, which
the United Nations had many times condemned. A terrorist attack on one country
was an attack on humanity as a whole. All nations of the world must work together
to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice, he urged.
Sir JEREMY GREENSTOCK (United Kingdom) said yesterdays events had taken
us all to a place beyond imagining. His country was united in deep shock
and sympathy with the people of the United States and their determination
to wipe out terrorism globally. His Queen, Elizabeth II, had expressed heartfelt
sympathy to the United States President, George W. Bush, and admiration for
those trying to cope with the tragedy.
He said the European Union, in a meeting this morning, said yesterdays
act was not only against the United States, but against humanity itself and
the life and freedom shared by all. He said his Prime Minister, Tony Blair,
had expressed similar sentiments and called attention to the fact that terrorism
was the new evil of today. The United Kingdom supported the substance of the
resolution that the Council was considering. Yesterdays act was a global
issue, an attack on modern civilization and an affront to the human spirit.
We must all respond globally, he said.
ANUND PRIYAY NEEWOOR (Mauritius) expressed profound shock at yesterdays
events. He conveyed his deepest sympathy and condolences to the Government
and people of the United States and to the families of the victims. He unreservedly
condemned the inhuman and barbaric terrorist acts, which had claimed the lives
of thousands of innocent victims. He was confident that America would rise
up to the challenge and overcome those atrocities. It had previously shown
resilience to such tragic circumstances.
He said that targeting the United States was also aimed at democracy and
the free world. He stood shoulder to shoulder with the American people. Such
cowardly acts had demonstrated that no country was immune to terrorist attacks.
Terrorism knew no boundaries and was a major threat to international peace
and security. That should be addressed comprehensively in the framework of
international cooperation. A summit could be held on the subject.
MOCTAR OUANE (Mali) also extended his deepest condolences with regard to
yesterdays tragic events. He firmly condemned those barbarous attacks,
and hoped for the recovery of many more victims. He was sorry for those who
had lost their lives. He would go along with any decision of the Council in
VALERY P. KUCHINSKY (Ukraine) said that yesterdays events were a terrible
catastrophe and a terrible loss for America. He admired the firefighters and
policemen, indeed, the whole American nation. His Foreign Minister, in reaction
yesterday, had expressed his deepest indignation at the unprecedented outbreak
of terrorism. That crime had been primarily directed against civilians, but
was a direct challenge to the entire civilized world. Whoever was behind it
had put themselves beyond the laws of human civilization and deserved a just
and inevitable punishment.
The magnitude of the events was way beyond terrorism as the world had so
far known it, he said. With the new technologies and changed nature of the
world, a handful of angry people was enough to cause havoc. New definitions
and new strategies had to be evolved for those new forms of terrorism. Yesterdays
date of 11 September could be an international day to combat terrorism. A
ministerial meeting of the Council should be convened to discuss its response
to international terrorism.
KISHORE MAHBUBANI (Singapore) conveyed deepest condolences to the victims,
their families, the people and Government of the United States. Both his President
and Prime Minister had also conveyed their condolences to President Bush.
His delegation joined others in condemning the acts of terrorism and had consistently
taken the position that terrorism should not be condoned. Yesterday's events
demonstrated that the international community must come together to address
terrorism. Several proposals had been tabled this morning, and his delegation
supported all of them. He now hoped the Council would urgently address the
issue before it.
NOUREDDINE MEJDOUB (Tunisia) expressed deep sympathy to the United States,
which had been an old friend of his country for almost 200 years. His President
had also expressed his condolences and categorical condemnation of yesterday's
act. His delegation extended compassion and solidarity to the United States'
delegation and the families left behind and joined in sharing their grief.
The tragedy yesterday was an unacceptable and odious crime against innocent
people that no cause could justify. The attack was an affront to humanity,
and he condemned the actors behind the tragedy. It was time for the international
community to root out the madness and cooperate in preventing and combating
terrorism, as well as organized crime.
RICHARD RYAN (Ireland) said the attack yesterday was a barbaric and evil
one that had been committed against innocent people. It was also an attack
against all humanity. He extended deep and heartfelt sympathies on behalf
of the Irish Government. The European Union, in a special session today, had
expressed its horror at yesterday's attack. The people of Europe and Ireland
would have an observance for yesterday's tragedy on Friday. The United States
should know that it was not alone in its grief and revulsion and that decent
people from all parts of the world and from all religions joined it. Respect
for freedom and the right to live in dignity were at the core of the United
Nations and those who committed the acts yesterday had sought to destroy that.
The responsible parties were the enemies of all people, peace and justice.
They would not be allowed to destroy the goals and visions of the Organization.
WANG YINGFAN (China) expressed deep shock and strong condemnation at yesterdays
attacks. His Government had already expressed that in messages to United States
President George W. Bush and United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell,
as well as its profound sympathy to the people of the United States and deep
condolences to the victims.
He said that international terrorism seriously endangered human society and
the political and economic order of countries. It also seriously threatened
international peace and security. His country opposed all terrorist violence.
Yesterdays attacks, which stunned the world, took place in the United
States, but represented an open challenge to the international community as
a whole. He supported the United Nations in its work to combat it and to bring
to justice its perpetrators. The Council should also play a strong role.
SERGEY LAVROV (Russian Federation) said that the United States had come up
against an unprecedented act of aggression from international terrorism. He
expressed his deepest condolences to the people and victims, and to the Government.
Yesterdays events were a brazen challenge to all of humankind and, once
again, emphasized the timeliness of the task of combating terrorism -
that plague of the twenty-first century.
He said that the draft resolution today showed the resolve of Council members
to do everything possible to ensure not one single terrorist act went unpunished.
The Russian President yesterday had said that his country knew terrorism very
well and understood the feelings of Americans. He expressed the solidarity
of his country with the United States.
M. PATRICIA DURRANT (Jamaica) said that the horrible acts of terrorism perpetrated
yesterday on American soil had plunged the entire world into an unprecedented
period of peril, fear and uncertainty. She shared the shock, grief and anger
of the American Government and its people who had suffered untold casualties
and enormous material damage. The masterminds, and those in collusion with
them, must be brought to justice, and the global community must demonstrate
a solid front to defeat terrorism.
She conveyed to the American Government and to the people of that country
-- in particular, to those who had lost loved ones or were injured -- her
sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy. Jamaicas Prime Minister
had already conveyed those sentiments to President Bush. Todays meeting
was an important opportunity for the Council to reaffirm its condemnation
SHAMEEM AHSAN (Bangladesh) said his country was still shocked by the very
heavy human toll and material losses that occurred yesterday in the United
States. His Government had already strongly condemned the terrorist act. Today,
he wished to express condolences to the people and Government of the United
States. Bangladesh also fully supported the terms of the draft resolution
to be adopted
OLE PETER KOLBY (Norway) said many lives had been lost yesterday, and his
country was prepared to extend all assistance. Yesterday's attacks were not
only directed against the United States but at freedom and democracy as well.
"It was an attack against all of us", he said. President Bush must
ensure that the perpetrators were pursued and that they felt the full weight
of the law. The Council must also show its support for that. Democracy would
prevail over evil -- countless people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania
had proved themselves to be truly heroic.
ALFONSO VALDIVIESO (Colombia) said the attacks yesterday were not only against
the United States, but against the entire community of civilized people and
their values. Yesterday, his country had rejected the cowardly attack. Nothing
could justify innocent victims paying with their lives for the intolerance
of fanatics. Additional security was needed in New York and other places.
The Council also needed to respond with greater commitment in its efforts
to reach the decision expected by the international community. Terrorism could
not be allowed to prevail. He supported the adoption of immediate measures
by the Council, which was in keeping with that body's mandate.
JEAN-DAVID LEVITTE (France), Council President, called yesterday a "day
of horror", which would forever leave its mark on the lives of all. The
scourge of terrorism on 11 September had destroyed thousands of innocent American
lives. Like all of the European Union, whose Ministers had just forcefully
expressed themselves, France stood side by side with the United States in
that time of trial. To all victims and families and to all Americans, he expressed
his condolences and commitment of fraternal solidarity. In the face of what
constituted an attack upon all mankind and against the values and principles
embodied in the United Nations Charter, it was a time for unity and resolve.
He said that, all together, everyone must say that nothing ever again in
any place in the world would justify resort to terrorism. All together, the
view must be taken that those monstrous acts of yesterday were a challenge
to the international community as a whole. France stood with the United States
in deciding upon any appropriate action to combat those who resorted to terrorism
and who aided or protected the perpetrators. A global strategy was needed,
for which the Council should play a significant role.
JAMES CUNNINGHAM (United States) thanked the members for their kind words
and support and for their resolve and condolences to Americans on that dark
day. He had also appreciated similar expressions from around the world. His
own thoughts and prayers were with the many who had died or were injured and
the many brave fire and police personnel, who continued to work feverishly
in response to the attacks. Last night, President Bush had eloquently addressed
the nation and the world on yesterday's outrage. It had been an assault not
just on the United States, but on all who supported peace and democracy and
the values for which the United Nations stood.
His country had suffered a cowardly and evil attack, but would not be shaken
in its resolve. "We will grieve and we will heal", he said. The
United States looked to all those who stood for peace and justice to stand
with it to win the war against terrorism. Indeed, no distinction would be
made between those who committed those acts and those who harboured the criminals.
The horrific images burned into global memory would serve as a constant reminder
to all to stamp out that scourge.