President Jacques Chirac
Excerpts from Statement after Joint Briefing at UN
New York City, New York
September 19, 2001

Let me begin by thanking the Secretary-General. (...) I should like to stress that the battle against terrorism has obviously become an absolute priority in today's world. (...) It can be waged effectively only in an accepted international context and, from this point of view, we must clearly recognize that the UN is the best body capable of getting everyone to work together, coordinating their efforts and implementing policies. The UN has already done a great deal. It has already implemented a dozen or so international conventions against terrorism, but this is still far from enough. I believe that today we understand that it's in this forum that we can best marshal support for fighting, eradicating terrorism by all means - all those consonant with our values of course.

Let me add a final point (...). Above all, we must not confuse these fundamentalist, terrorist and fanatical groups with the Arab or Muslim worlds. That would be a cardinal error, would be profoundly unjust and above all result in us falling into the very trap set for us by the terrorists, those seemingly seeking what's been called the "clash of civilizations" and is the world of the absurd. (...).