United Nations, Sep 24: The UN role has become increasingly more essential in confronting the global threat of terrorism, with multilateralism having the potential to usher in a more secure and prosperous era, US President George W Bush has said.
Since banding together eight years ago to address the global movement of violent extremists, it has been made apparent that ''the United Nations and other multilateral organisations are needed more urgently than ever,'' he told the 192-nation UN General Assembly's annual high-level debate in New York. Success in fighting terrorism depends on cooperation to prevent attacks from occurring instead of deploring them after they take place, Mr Bush said on Tuesday, Sep 23.
He told the UN delegates, ''By acting together to meet the fundamental challenge of our time, we can lead towards a world that is more secure, and more prosperous, and more hopeful.'' The world is almost in universal agreement that no cause can justify terrorism, with Security Council resolutions asserting it to be unlawful and other multilateral bodies such as the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialised nations and the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) speaking out against the scourge.
''Like slavery and piracy, terrorism has no place in the modern world,'' the president said. He pointed to countries such as Syria and Iran that continue to sponsor terror, but noted that ''their numbers were growing fewer, and they were feeling more isolated from the world.'' Mr Bush called upon the UN to provide a ''more hopeful alternative'' and step up its efforts to ''challenge tyranny.'' He voiced support for ''brave young democracies'' such as Georgia, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, but emphasised political freedom is not enough to overcome terror.
''The extremists find their most febrile recruiting grounds in societies trapped in chaos and despair places where people see no prospect of a better life,'' the US leader said, stressing the need to deal with poverty, disease and ignorance.
Trade and investment play a large part in spurring development, and he accentuated the need to reinvigorate the commitment to open economies with markets more integrated than ever. Mr Bush also turned his attention to the ongoing turbulence in his country's financial services sector.
As global financial markets face turbulent times, Mr Bush said that his country's government is taking ''bold steps to prevent a severe disruption of the American economy, which would have a devastating effect on other economies around the world.'' Acknowledging the difficulty of the tasks facing the world body, he underlined how ''the world needs a confident and effective United Nations'' that can correct its mistakes and streamline its inefficiencies.
''With determination and purpose, the United Nations can be a powerful force for good as we head into the 21st century,'' Mr Bush said. ''It can affirm the great promise of its founding, he added.