8 May 2004





UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Press Encounter

UN Headquarters, 7 May 2004


Question:  Mr. Secretary-General, your reaction to the reports of threat against you by Osama Bin Laden, against you and Lakhdar Brahimi, considering the climate, what's your reaction to this?  You have been threatened before, but this time it's more pointed.  

Secretary General:  Obviously, we take it seriously and we will have to take precautions and then carry on with my life and my work.  

Question:  How will it affect the work of you, your Organization and Mr. Brahimi, this sort of threat?  

Secretary General: I think we need to carry on with our work.  As I said, we have to take precautions and do carry on with you work and with your life.  And that's what we're going to do.  

Question:  What about the international community's reaction on Darfur?  Is it too late in terms of coming to any type of activity to help there?  

Secretary General: As you know, the two teams that went down are now coming to brief the Security Council.  And Mr. James Morris (World Food Programme), whom I spoke to, has some very concrete ideas as to what we can do.  And I myself have been on the phone fairly regularly with the Sudanese President on their obligations and responsibilities.  Today, he would also inform the Council that the African Union monitors, who are going to monitor the ceasefire in Darfur, will begin to arrive shortly.  

Question:  Do you think apologies from US officials will be enough to calm waters in the Mideast regarding the photos of prisoner abuses?  

Secretary General: I think the actions that we saw in those pictures have done damage.

And I'm relieved that US leaders have taken it quite seriously, including the President saying he was sorry for what happened.  And I hope the people in the region pay attention to that reaction. Thank you.