T H E   W H I T E   H O U S E

September 21, 1998

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All of us need to think in new terms, seeing terrorism not as a clash of cultures, or political action by other means, or a divine calling, but as a clash between the forces of the past and the forces of the future, between those who tear down and those who build up, between hatred and hope, between chaos and community. The fight against terrorism will not be easy. But a new century is worth a renewed effort.

President Bill Clinton
September 21, 1998

Today, President Clinton delivers an address to the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The President will discuss the global fight against terrorism and the need for international cooperation in combating this dangerous threat to stability and prosperity.

Leading The Fight Against Terrorism. President Clinton has made combating terrorism at home and abroad a key priority of his Administration. The President has spearheaded efforts to: tighten airport security; impose sanctions against nations that support terrorists; outlaw money laundering and financial support for terrorists; and provide law enforcement agencies with new tools and the latest technologies to combat terrorism. During his speech at the Naval Academy earlier this year, President Clinton announced the appointment of a National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counterterrorism, who will bring the full force of America's resources to bear in this fight, a fight that is a conflict between those who practice, support or tolerate terrorism and those who understand that terrorism is murder.

Taking Decisive Action To Combat Terrorism. The President has demonstrated that America will not relinquish its position of world leadership in the face of terrorist intimidation:

  • In the wake of the terrorist bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, President Clinton ordered cruise missile strikes against a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons plant in Sudan. He ordered an international investigation that has led to the apprehension, in record time, of suspects in the attacks, who have been brought to America for trial. He also called on Congress to provide emergency funding to improve security at American embassies throughout the world;
  • When terrorists recently bombed Omagh, Northern Ireland, in an attempt to disrupt the peace processthere, President Clinton visited the families of the victims and called for Protestants and Catholics to unite in opposition to violence and work to make peace a reality in Ireland;
  • President Clinton has also addressed the political and economic conditions that breed terrorism, encouraging development in Africa, promoting human rights in Asia, supporting independent judiciaries in Eastern Europe, and training law enforcement officials in Latin America.

President Clinton Calls On The World Community To Join Him In This Fight. We can only succeed in combating terrorism if we work together -- with the international community shouldering common obligations. President Clinton urges all nations to:

  • Deny terrorists safe haven and financial support, and pressure states that do;
  • Cooperate in the extradition and prosecution of terrorists;
  • Strengthen the Biological Weapons Convention and enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention;
  • Increase airport security and control the manufacture and export of explosives.

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