Sixty-three years ago, representatives from around the world gathered in San Francisco to complete the founding of the Charter of the United Nations. The U.N. Charter’s signatories pledged to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and to unite their strength in order to maintain international peace and security.
Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly, President George W. Bush said that the ideals of the U.N. Charter are now facing a challenge as serious as any since the U.N.'s founding -– “a global movement of violent extremists”:
"By deliberately murdering the innocent to advance their aims, these extremists defy the fundamental principles of international order. They show contempt for all who respect life and value human dignity. They reject the words of the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, or any standard of conscience or morality. They imperil the values of justice and human rights that gave birth to the United Nations -- values that have fueled an unprecedented expansion of freedom across the world.”
President Bush said that in order to achieve success in confronting the extremist threat, the U-N member-states must be “focused and resolute and effective”:
“Instead of only passing resolutions decrying terrorist attacks after they occur, we must cooperate more closely to keep terrorist attacks from happening in the first place. Instead of treating all forms of government as equally tolerable, we must actively challenge the conditions of tyranny and despair that allow terrorists and extremists to thrive. By acting together to meet the fundamental challenge of our time, we can lead toward a world that is more secure, and more prosperous, and more hopeful.”
President Bush noted that the U.N. Security Council has passed resolutions declaring terror unlawful and requiring all nations to crack down on terrorist financing. He also noted that U.N. members are now sharing intelligence with one another, conducting joint operations, and freezing terrorist finances. The United Nations and other multilateral organizations, he said, must continually confront terror in the decades ahead.