UNITED NATIONS -- New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani urged the United Nations on Monday to hold any country that supports terrorism accountable, and U.N. chief Kofi Annan said the global unity displayed after the attacks on the United States must not fade.
"Unanimously, we must say we will not give in to terrorism," Giuliani said in an impassioned speech before the start of a weeklong U.N. debate on international terrorism that will hear the views of more than 150 countries.
If the world's nations do not stand together in the fight against terrorism, the mayor said, terrorists will succeed in destroying freedom, democracy and the underlying principles of the United Nations itself.
"This is not a time for further study or vague directives," he said. "The evidence of terrorism, brutality and inhumanity, is lying beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center less than two miles from where we meet today."
"The United Nations must hold accountable any country that supports or condones terrorism or you will fail in your primary mission as peacekeepers," he told diplomats from over 150 nations in the hushed General Assembly chamber.
The meeting is the first global forum on terrorism since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, which claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people from over 60 countries.
Giuliani has been praised worldwide for leading a search and rescue effort and later a cleanup at the site of the collapsed World Trade Center towers in Lower Manhattan.
Look at the wreckage, Giuliani said, "and recognize that there is no room for neutrality on the issue of terrorism. You're either with civilization or you're with terrorism."
Giuliani is the first New York City mayor to address the General Assembly since 1952. His address came three days after the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution requiring all 189 U.N. nations to deny money, support and sanctuary to terrorists.