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Call For Strike At Extremist Ideologies

Australia Urges UN Member States To Strike At Extremist Ideologies That Drive Terrorism

New York, Sep 21 2006 10:00PM

Calling for United Nations Member States to reach agreement on a comprehensive global convention against terrorism, Australia’s Foreign Minister stressed in his speech to the General Assembly today that the world must take collective aim at the extremist ideologies that fuel the scourge.

Speaking on the third day of the annual debate, Alexander Downer voiced concern that the global counter-terrorism strategy adopted by the Assembly earlier this month does not include extremist ideologies on its illustrative list of conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.

“It is imperative we see this ideology clearly for what it is – a mindset every bit as brutal and uncompromising as its totalitarian predecessors in centuries past,” he said. “It is an ideology that directly challenges the principles and values of modernity – the flourishing of open markets, open societies, open minds.

“To defeat this evil,” he concluded, “we must harness the collective strength of the international community.”

Mr. Downer said that while the UN has a role to play in that collective action, the Organization “is not the answer to all the problems of the world. And where the United Nations can’t act, individual States must.”

Earlier today, Samoan Prime Minister Tuila’epa Sailele Malielegaoi said the challenge now for Member States is to turn the commitments they made in the counter-terrorism strategy into concrete preventative measures.

Urging world leaders to remain “resolute in our resolve,” he also stressed the importance of respecting the rule of law and maintaining the principles of civilized society during the fight against terrorism.

Mr. Malielegaoi also raised the issue of global warming and its impact in the South Pacific, describing enhanced early-warning systems for natural disasters as a priority.

Ends

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