UN chief calls Bin Laden death a 'watershed'

AP News
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Posted: May 02, 2011 6:23 PM
UN chief calls Bin Laden death a 'watershed'

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called the death of Osama bin Laden "a watershed moment" in the global fight against terrorism.

Ban told reporters that the United Nations will continue, in cooperation with world leaders, to lead the campaign against international terrorism.

At a special session later Monday, the U.N. Security Council adopted a statement welcoming the news that bin Laden "will never again be able to perpetrate ... acts of terrorism."

The council recalled "the heinous terrorist attacks" committed by the al-Qaida network throughout the world and said "no cause" can justify the murder of innocent people. It urged all countries to intensify their efforts to fight global terrorism and "work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of terrorist attacks."

The council also reaffirmed that terrorism must not "be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or group"

The General Assembly has adopted a global counterterrorism strategy.

The secretary-general said using that as a basis, the United Nations will continue to work with its 192 member states "to completely eradicate global terrorism."

General Assembly President Joseph Deiss stressed that the U.N. fight against terrorism "is also undertaken in the name of all victims" and that "terrorists must know that there will be no impunity for their barbaric and cowardly deeds," his spokesman Jean-Victor Nkolo said.

The secretary-general said "the crimes of al-Qaida touched most continents, bringing tragedy and loss of life to thousands of men, women and children."

Ban said he was in New York on the "dark day" of September 11, 2001, when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed in an al-Qaida attack ordered by bin Laden. At the time, Ban was chief of staff to the General Assembly's president.

"Personally, I am very much relieved by the news that justice has been done to such a mastermind of international terrorism," the secretary-general said. "I would like to commend the work and the determined and principled commitment of many people in the world who have been struggling to eradicate international terrorism."

"The death of Osama bin Laden announced by president Obama last night is a watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism," Ban said.

The Security Council called for global cooperation to address the conditions "conducive to the spread of terrorism and to impede, impair, isolate and incapacitate the terrorist threat."

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Associated Press Writer Anita Snow contributed to this report from the United Nations


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