2005 (Archived) - UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed Sunday
for Europe and the United States to back a
major overhaul of global security measures
used to combat terrorism, to keep weapons of
mass destruction from spreading and quell
Annan presented an apocalyptic warning as
he lobbied for new, common steps after the
deep divisions that opened up within the
United Nations over the Iraq war in 2003.
"We must strengthen our collective
defences," he told an international
conference of top security officials.
"If New York or
London or Paris or Berlin were hit by a
nuclear terrorist attack, it might not only
kill hundreds of thousands in an
instant," he said, "it could also
devastate the global economy, thereby
plunging millions into poverty in developing
The UN plans call
for tougher rules to prevent the
proliferation of nuclear weapons, a trust
fund to help poorer countries fight
terrorism, a drive to strengthen public
health defences against germ warfare and a
quicker action against potential threats.
tougher inspection rules for nuclear
installations and incentives for countries
to stop uranium enrichment that could be
used to make nuclear bombs. He also said UN
countries should adopt a common definition
of terrorism and then draft an
anti-terrorism convention, which should
include financial help for nations to meet
Nations must show zero tolerance of
terrorism of any kind, for any reason,"
He has invited world
leaders to a summit at UN headquarters in
September to approve the plans.
In a more immediate
appeal, he urged NATO and the European Union
to do more to help end the conflict and
resulting humanitarian disaster in Sudan's
dying every single day, while we fail to
protect them," he said.
Minister Fischer broadly backed Annan's
security reform plans and urged the United
States - as the world's most powerful nation
- to play a leading role.
Fischer also called
on Washington to play a more active role in
European-led diplomatic efforts to ensure
Iran does not develop nuclear weapons.
"If the United States were to engage
positively, and I'm aware of how difficult
that is, it would substantially strengthen
the European drive," he said.
More broadly, he
urged the European Union and the United
States to work more closely as "the
backbone of a new world order in the 21st
Annan's call for greater collective security
came after U.S. Defence Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld acknowledged Saturday that even the
United States cannot battle terrorism and
other world threats on its own.
cannot defeat the extremists alone,"
Rumsfeld said. "It will take the
co-operation of many nations to stop the
proliferation of dangerous weapons."