War on Terrorism: United Nations - Giuliani's Ultimatum: Back US or Back Terror
Usborne, David, The Independent (London, England)
RUDY GIULIANI, the Mayor of New York City, made use of a world stage at the United Nations yesterday to urge all nations to make a choice between "civilisation and the terrorists" in the wake of the terror attacks three weeks ago.
"This is not a time for further study or vague directives," said Mr Giuliani, who has often been withering about the UN. "The evidence of terrorism, brutality and inhumanity is lying beneath the rubble of the World Trade Centre less than two miles from where we meet today."
He was addressing all 189 delegates of the UN General Assembly. It was itself a historic moment. The last time any mayor was invited to the famous marble podium, where Krushchev once banged his shoe, was in 1952, when Mayor Vincent Impellitteri spoke at the opening of the UN compound on New York's East River.
Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the UN, later came to the microphone and struck a chilling note. He pleaded with governments to redouble efforts to rid the world not just of terrorists but also of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and biological devices, noting that they too could one day be deployed in future terror strikes.
"It is hard to imagine how the tragedy of 11 September could have been worse. Yet the truth is that a single attack involving a nuclear or biological weapon could have killed millions," Mr Annan said. "While the world was unable to prevent the attacks, there is much we can do to help prevent future terrorist acts carried out with weapons of mass destruction."
Few speeches ever delivered in the hall have been as direct as Mr Giuliani's. At times he seemed to be lecturing the delegates, repeatedly insisting that their governments had a moral obligation to side with the US to beat terror. There was no room, he said, for "moral relativism" in the matter.
"Look at that destruction, that massive, senseless, cruel loss of human life. And then I ask you to look in your hearts and recognise that there is no room for neutrality. …