Afghanistan

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:13 pm on 14th November 2001.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Williams of Mostyn Lord Williams of Mostyn President of the Council, Privy Council Office, Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords 4:13 pm, 14th November 2001

My Lords, I am most grateful. There are a number of different aspects here which need to be looked at discretely. First, what can we do domestically to deal with terrorism? We have been derelict for far too long because we have not pursued resources and financial assets and we have not necessarily had the full and appropriate equipment in the criminal law. That is an aspect which is going to be dealt with in significant part, I hope, if Parliament agrees, in the anti-terrorism legislation, which will be with us very soon.

Secondly, what has the Prime Minister been able to do by influence rather than by realpolitik power; in other words, the power of argument and personality rather than the power of battalions? What has he been able to do to change the world agenda? I entirely agree with the noble Lord that it is early days, but I believe that he has made a very significant start. But one country cannot do it alone. It seems to me that the wider context must inevitably lie with the United Nations. If we want an ordered international regime there is one body which has been available for a very long time now, but perhaps has been insufficiently used. That is the third aspect to which I draw attention.