Statement by Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General, October, 8 2001

Following is the text of a statement made today by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on military strikes in Afghanistan:

Immediately after the 11 September attacks on the United States, the Security Council expressed its determination to combat, by all means, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. The Council also reaffirmed the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations. The States concerned have set their current military action in Afghanistan in that context.

To defeat terrorism, we need a sustained effort and a broad strategy to unite all nations, and address all aspects of the scourge we face. The cause must be pursued by all the States of the world, working together and using many different means — including political, legal, diplomatic and financial means.

The people of Afghanistan, who cannot be held responsible for the acts of the Taliban regime, are now in desperate need of aid. The United Nations has long played a vital role in providing humanitarian assistance to them, and it is my hope that we will be able to step up our humanitarian work as soon as possible.

It is also vital that the international community now work harder than ever to encourage a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan. The United Nations is actively engaged in promoting the creation of a fully representative, multi-ethnic and broad-based Afghan Government.