Speaking at a joint news conference following a private meeting, the two leaders agreed that the United Nations has a key role to play in the battle against the terrorist menace. A coalition should embrace “as many countries as possible, because this is an issue that concerns all of us,” noted the Secretary-General. At the same time, he warned against “the tendency that is emerging in some quarters – limited quarters – that would divide the international community – finger-pointing Muslims, finger-pointing people from the Middle East or dark-skinned persons.””We should focus on the perpetrators, build a broad coalition of nations that will fight against this and I think the Security Council and the General Assembly have given us the basis to build on,” Mr. Annan stressed.Expressing wholehearted support for the Secretary-General’s position, President Chirac added that actions would only be effective if they were carried out in an “accepted” international context. “From this point of view, we must recognize that the United Nations is the best body possible for bringing together all of the energy, and coordinate it, and to put into effect policies,” he said.As part of the fight against terrorism, the Secretary-General called for intensified efforts to get to the root causes, namely “conflict, poverty, ignorance and racism.” Desperate and despairing people were easy recruits for terrorist organizations, he pointed out, adding that “the planners in Washington are aware of that.”The Secretary-General said the Security Council was discussing what course to take. “Obviously, we now need concrete action – cooperation among Member States,” he stressed.Mr. Annan also underscored the important role being played by the UN General Assembly. Noting that the UN had already elaborated 12 anti-terrorist treaties, he said last week’s tragedy would provide even greater momentum so that “we can go forward and conclude the thirteenth.”