|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
7272nd Meeting (PM)
Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution Condemning Violent Extremism,
Underscoring Need to Prevent Travel, Support for Foreign Terrorist Fighters
At a summit presided over by United States President Barack Obama, opened by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and addressed by scores of national leaders, the Security Council this afternoon called on all States to cooperate urgently on preventing the international flow of terrorist fighters to and from conflict zones.
Through resolution 2178 (2014), adopted unanimously during a meeting that heard from over 50 speakers, the Council condemned violent extremism and decided that Member States shall, consistent with international law, prevent the “recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning of, or participation in terrorist acts”.
Expressing concern over the establishment of international terrorist networks, the Council underscored the “particular and urgent need” to prevent the travel and support for foreign terrorist fighters associated with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Nusra Front (ANL) and other affiliates or splinter groups of Al-Qaida.
In that context, the Council, through the resolution, decided that all States shall ensure that their legal systems provide for the prosecution, as serious criminal offences, of travel for terrorism or related training, as well as the financing or facilitation of such activities.
Member States, it also decided, shall prevent entry or transit through their territories of any individual about whom that State had credible information of their terrorist-related intentions, without prejudice to transit necessary for the furtherance of judicial processes. It called on States to require airlines to provide passenger lists for that purpose.
Outlining further measures for international cooperation to counter international terrorism and prevent the growth of violent extremism, it expressed readiness to designate additional individuals for sanctions listings, and directed the United Nations counter-terrorism subsidiary bodies to devote special focus to foreign terrorist fighters, assessing the threat they posed and reporting on principal gaps in Member States’ abilities to suppress their travel.
“The world is witnessing a dramatic evolution in the nature of the terrorist threat,” Secretary-General Ban said following the adoption. He noted that in the past year thousands of civilians — the vast majority of them Muslims — had been killed, maimed, sexually abused and displaced by terrorists, from Afghanistan to Somalia to Nigeria, from Iraq to Libya to Mali.
More than 13,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 80 Member States had joined ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front as a consequence of the conflict in Syria, he said, citing the estimate of the United Nations Al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team. Such terrorism must be defeated, but in a way that avoided further radicalization and civilian deaths. That should be done through a multilateral, multifaceted strategy beyond the immediate security approach. “Over the long term, the biggest threat to terrorists in not the power of missiles — it is the politics of inclusion,” he said.
Following the Secretary-General’s statement, national leaders took the floor, representing Council members and other Member States to welcome the adoption of the resolution, most pledging to cooperate in a global effort to prevent a flow of fighters to ISIL and other extremist groups.
Mr. Obama welcomed the international, high-level interest and consensus on the issue. He added that international cooperation had already increased, with foreign fighters arrested, plots disrupted and lives saved but more capacity was needed to tackle the problem and prevent fighters from reaching Syria and slipping back over its borders. Reformed former fighters should speak out against groups like ISIL that he said betrayed Islam.
The Prime Minister of Iraq expressed gratitude to all those who assisted his country but emphasized that more was needed, as Iraq was the front line against terrorism, with ISIL having slaughtered minorities and other civilians and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. He stressed that it was not an Iraqi organization, but created through foreign funding, ideologies of hate, oil smuggling networks and foreign recruitment networks, in addition to including former Ba’ath party members.
While most speakers acknowledged that a military and security approach to the international spread of terrorism was necessary in the short term, they stressed the need for a comprehensive approach that addressed marginalization, long-standing conflicts and other factors that helped attract individuals to extremism.
The Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation stressed the need for consistency in fighting all terrorist groups, and said that it was important to avoid empowering them through international interventions. Syria’s representative, criticizing those who had supported armed groups in his country, stated that there were no good terrorists or bad terrorists.
Advocating a rethinking of international counter-terrorism strategy due to the fact that the problem was getting not better but worse, Argentina’s President said that above all it was critical to ensure adherence to human rights standards in fighting the scourge and not fuel further cycles of violence, in order to avoid “feeding the monster” of terrorism.
Also speaking today were the Heads of State or Government of Nigeria, France, Chad, Lithuania, Rwanda, Jordan, Chile, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom, Australia, Luxembourg, Turkey, Qatar, Bulgaria, Kenya, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Canada, Netherlands, Morocco, Norway, Trinidad and Tobago and Belgium.
Represented at the ministerial level were China, Serbia, Pakistan, Algeria, Senegal, Latvia, Denmark, Albania, Estonia, Kazakhstan and New Zealand.
Also speaking were representatives of Singapore, United Arab Emirates, India, Spain, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Egypt.
The President of the European Council also spoke, as did the Secretary of State of the Holy See.
The meeting began at 3:10 p.m. and ended at 7:20 p.m.
The full text of resolution 2178 (2014) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming that terrorism in all forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable regardless of their motivations, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and remaining determined to contribute further to enhancing the effectiveness of the overall effort to fight this scourge on a global level,
“Noting with concern that the terrorism threat has become more diffuse, with an increase, in various regions of the world, of terrorist acts including those motivated by intolerance or extremism, and expressing its determination to combat this threat,
“Bearing in mind the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, and affirming Member States’ determination to continue to do all they can to resolve conflict and to deny terrorist groups the ability to put down roots and establish safe havens to address better the growing threat posed by terrorism,
“Emphasizing that terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality or civilization,
“Recognizing that international cooperation and any measures taken by Member States to prevent and combat terrorism must comply fully with the Charter of the United Nations,
“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all States in accordance with the Charter,
“Reaffirming that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to counter terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, underscoring that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing with effective counter-terrorism measures, and are an essential part of a successful counter-terrorism effort and notes the importance of respect for the rule of law so as to effectively prevent and combat terrorism, and noting that failure to comply with these and other international obligations, including under the Charter of the United Nations, is one of the factors contributing to increased radicalization and fosters a sense of impunity,
“Expressing grave concern over the acute and growing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, namely individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, including in connection with armed conflict, and resolving to address this threat,
“Expressing grave concern about those who attempt to travel to become foreign terrorist fighters,
“Concerned that foreign terrorist fighters increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts, and also may pose a serious threat to their States of origin, the States they transit and the States to which they travel, as well as States neighbouring zones of armed conflict in which foreign terrorist fighters are active and that are affected by serious security burdens, and noting that the threat of foreign terrorist fighters may affect all regions and Member States, even those far from conflict zones, and expressing grave concern that foreign terrorist fighters are using their extremist ideology to promote terrorism,
“Expressing concern that international networks have been established by terrorists and terrorist entities among States of origin, transit and destination through which foreign terrorist fighters and the resources to support them have been channelled back and forth,
“Expressing particular concern that foreign terrorist fighters are being recruited by and are joining entities such as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives of Al-Qaida, as designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011), recognizing that the foreign terrorist fighter threat includes, among others, individuals supporting acts or activities of Al-Qaida and its cells, affiliates, splinter groups, and derivative entities, including by recruiting for or otherwise supporting acts or activities of such entities, and stressing the urgent need to address this particular threat,
“Recognizing that addressing the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters requires comprehensively addressing underlying factors, including by preventing radicalization to terrorism, stemming recruitment, inhibiting foreign terrorist fighter travel, disrupting financial support to foreign terrorist fighters, countering violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, countering incitement to terrorist acts motivated by extremism or intolerance, promoting political and religious tolerance, economic development and social cohesion and inclusiveness, ending and resolving armed conflicts, and facilitating reintegration and rehabilitation,
“Recognizing also that terrorism will not be defeated by military force, law enforcement measures, and intelligence operations alone, and underlining the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, as outlined in Pillar I of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (A/RES/60/288),
“Expressing concern over the increased use by terrorists and their supporters of communications technology for the purpose of radicalizing to terrorism, recruiting and inciting others to commit terrorist acts, including through the internet, and financing and facilitating the travel and subsequent activities of foreign terrorist fighters, and underlining the need for Member States to act cooperatively to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources to incite support for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law,
“Noting with appreciation the activities undertaken in the area of capacity building by United Nations entities, in particular entities of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), including the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Centre for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT), and also the efforts of the Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to facilitate technical assistance, specifically by promoting engagement between providers of capacity-building assistance and recipients, in coordination with other relevant international, regional and subregional organizations, to assist Member States, upon their request, in implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy,
“Noting recent developments and initiatives at the international, regional and subregional levels to prevent and suppress international terrorism, and noting the work of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF), in particular its recent adoption of a comprehensive set of good practices to address the foreign terrorist fighter phenomenon, and its publication of several other framework documents and good practices, including in the areas of countering violent extremism, criminal justice, prisons, kidnapping for ransom, providing support to victims of terrorism, and community-oriented policing, to assist interested States with the practical implementation of the United Nations counter-terrorism legal and policy framework and to complement the work of the relevant United Nations counter-terrorism entities in these areas,
“Noting with appreciation the efforts of INTERPOL to address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including through global law enforcement information sharing enabled by the use of its secure communications network, databases, and system of advisory notices, procedures to track stolen, forged identity papers and travel documents, and INTERPOL’s counter-terrorism fora and foreign terrorist fighter programme,
“Having regard to and highlighting the situation of individuals of more than one nationality who travel to their states of nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, and urging States to take action, as appropriate, in compliance with their obligations under their domestic law and international law, including international human rights law,
“Calling upon States to ensure, in conformity with international law, in particular international human rights law and international refugee law, that refugee status is not abused by the perpetrators, organizers or facilitators of terrorist acts, including by foreign terrorist fighters,
“Reaffirming its call upon all States to become party to the international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols as soon as possible, whether or not they are a party to regional conventions on the matter, and to fully implement their obligations under those to which they are a party,
“Noting the continued threat to international peace and security posed by terrorism, and affirming the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, including those perpetrated by foreign terrorist fighters,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Condemns the violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, sectarian violence, and the commission of terrorist acts by foreign terrorist fighters, and demands that all foreign terrorist fighters disarm and cease all terrorist acts and participation in armed conflict;
“2. Reaffirms that all States shall prevent the movement of terrorists or terrorist groups by effective border controls and controls on issuance of identity papers and travel documents, and through measures for preventing counterfeiting, forgery or fraudulent use of identity papers and travel documents, underscores, in this regard, the importance of addressing, in accordance with their relevant international obligations, the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, and encourages Member States to employ evidence-based traveller risk assessment and screening procedures including collection and analysis of travel data, without resorting to profiling based on stereotypes founded on grounds of discrimination prohibited by international law;
“3. Urges Member States, in accordance with domestic and international law, to intensify and accelerate the exchange of operational information regarding actions or movements of terrorists or terrorist networks, including foreign terrorist fighters, especially with their States of residence or nationality, through bilateral or multilateral mechanisms, in particular the United Nations;
“4. Calls upon all Member States, in accordance with their obligations under international law, to cooperate in efforts to address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including by preventing the radicalization to terrorism and recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters, including children, preventing foreign terrorist fighters from crossing their borders, disrupting and preventing financial support to foreign terrorist fighters, and developing and implementing prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for returning foreign terrorist fighters;
“5. Decides that Member States shall, consistent with international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law, prevent and suppress the recruiting, organizing, transporting or equipping of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training, and the financing of their travel and of their activities;
“6. Recalls its decision, in resolution 1373 (2001), that all Member States shall ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice, and decides that all States shall ensure that their domestic laws and regulations establish serious criminal offenses sufficient to provide the ability to prosecute and to penalize in a manner duly reflecting the seriousness of the offense:
(a) their nationals who travel or attempt to travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality, and other individuals who travel or attempt to travel from their territories to a State other than their States of residence or nationality, for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts, or the providing or receiving of terrorist training;
(b) the wilful provision or collection, by any means, directly or indirectly, of funds by their nationals or in their territories with the intention that the funds should be used, or in the knowledge that they are to be used, in order to finance the travel of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training; and,
(c) the wilful organization, or other facilitation, including acts of recruitment, by their nationals or in their territories, of the travel of individuals who travel to a State other than their States of residence or nationality for the purpose of the perpetration, planning, or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or the providing or receiving of terrorist training;
“7. Expresses its strong determination to consider listing pursuant to resolution 2161 (2014) individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida who are financing, arming, planning, or recruiting for them, or otherwise supporting their acts or activities, including through information and communications technologies, such as the internet, social media, or any other means;
“8. Decides that, without prejudice to entry or transit necessary in the furtherance of a judicial process, including in furtherance of such a process related to arrest or detention of a foreign terrorist fighter, Member States shall prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of any individual about whom that State has credible information that provides reasonable grounds to believe that he or she is seeking entry into or transit through their territory for the purpose of participating in the acts described in paragraph 6, including any acts or activities indicating that an individual, group, undertaking or entity is associated with Al-Qaida, as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 2161 (2014), provided that nothing in this paragraph shall oblige any State to deny entry or require the departure from its territories of its own nationals or permanent residents;
“9. Calls upon Member States to require that airlines operating in their territories provide advance passenger information to the appropriate national authorities in order to detect the departure from their territories, or attempted entry into or transit through their territories, by means of civil aircraft, of individuals designated by the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) (“the Committee”), and further calls upon Member States to report any such departure from their territories, or such attempted entry into or transit through their territories, of such individuals to the Committee, as well as sharing this information with the State of residence or nationality, as appropriate and in accordance with domestic law and international obligations;
“10. Stresses the urgent need to implement fully and immediately this resolution with respect to foreign terrorist fighters, underscores the particular and urgent need to implement this resolution with respect to those foreign terrorist fighters who are associated with ISIL, ANF and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives of Al-Qaida, as designated by the Committee, and expresses its readiness to consider designating, under resolution 2161 (2014), individuals associated with Al-Qaida who commit the acts specified in paragraph 6 above;
“11. Calls upon Member States to improve international, regional, and sub‑regional cooperation, if appropriate through bilateral agreements, to prevent the travel of foreign terrorist fighters from or through their territories, including through increased sharing of information for the purpose of identifying foreign terrorist fighters, the sharing and adoption of best practices, and improved understanding of the patterns of travel by foreign terrorist fighters, and for Member States to act cooperatively when taking national measures to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources to incite support for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law;
“12. Recalls its decision in resolution 1373 (2001) that Member States shall afford one another the greatest measure of assistance in connection with criminal investigations or proceedings relating to the financing or support of terrorist acts, including assistance in obtaining evidence in their possession necessary for the proceedings, and underlines the importance of fulfilling this obligation with respect to such investigations or proceedings involving foreign terrorist fighters;
“13. Encourages Interpol to intensify its efforts with respect to the foreign terrorist fighter threat and to recommend or put in place additional resources to support and encourage national, regional and international measures to monitor and prevent the transit of foreign terrorist fighters, such as expanding the use of INTERPOL Special Notices to include foreign terrorist fighters;
“14. Calls upon States to help build the capacity of States to address the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including to prevent and interdict foreign terrorist fighter travel across land and maritime borders, in particular the States neighbouring zones of armed conflict where there are foreign terrorist fighters, and welcomes and encourages bilateral assistance by Member States to help build such national capacity;
“Countering Violent Extremism in Order to Prevent Terrorism
“15. Underscores that countering violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, including preventing radicalization, recruitment, and mobilization of individuals into terrorist groups and becoming foreign terrorist fighters is an essential element of addressing the threat to international peace and security posed by foreign terrorist fighters, and calls upon Member States to enhance efforts to counter this kind of violent extremism;
“16. Encourages Member States to engage relevant local communities and non-governmental actors in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist narrative that can incite terrorist acts, address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, including by empowering youth, families, women, religious, cultural and education leaders, and all other concerned groups of civil society and adopt tailored approaches to countering recruitment to this kind of violent extremism and promoting social inclusion and cohesion;
“17. Recalls its decision in paragraph 14 of resolution 2161 (2014) with respect to improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and urges Member States, in this context, to act cooperatively when taking national measures to prevent terrorists from exploiting technology, communications and resources, including audio and video, to incite support for terrorist acts, while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms and in compliance with other obligations under international law;
“18. Calls upon Member States to cooperate and consistently support each other’s efforts to counter violent extremism, which can be conducive to terrorism, including through capacity building, coordination of plans and efforts, and sharing lessons learned;
“19. Emphasizes in this regard the importance of Member States’ efforts to develop non-violent alternative avenues for conflict prevention and resolution by affected individuals and local communities to decrease the risk of radicalization to terrorism, and of efforts to promote peaceful alternatives to violent narratives espoused by foreign terrorist fighters, and underscores the role education can play in countering terrorist narratives;
“United Nations Engagement on the Foreign Terrorist Fighter Threat
“20. Notes that foreign terrorist fighters and those who finance or otherwise facilitate their travel and subsequent activities may be eligible for inclusion on the Al-Qaida Sanctions List maintained by the Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) where they participate in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of, Al-Qaida, supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to, or recruiting for, or otherwise supporting acts or activities of Al-Qaida or any cell, affiliate, splinter group or derivative thereof, and calls upon States to propose such foreign terrorist fighters and those who facilitate or finance their travel and subsequent activities for possible designation;
“21. Directs the Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, in close cooperation with all relevant United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, in particular CTED, to devote special focus to the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters recruited by or joining ISIL, ANF and all groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida;
“22. Encourages the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team to coordinate its efforts to monitor and respond to the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters with other United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, in particular the CTITF;
“23. Requests the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, in close cooperation with other United Nations counter-terrorism bodies, to report to the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) within 180 days, and provide a preliminary oral update to the Committee within 60 days, on the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters recruited by or joining ISIL, ANF and all groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, including:
(a) a comprehensive assessment of the threat posed by these foreign terrorist fighters, including their facilitators, the most affected regions and trends in radicalization to terrorism, facilitation, recruitment, demographics, and financing; and
(b) recommendations for actions that can be taken to enhance the response to the threat posed by these foreign terrorist fighters;
“24. Requests the Counter-Terrorism Committee, within its existing mandate and with the support of CTED, to identify principal gaps in Member States’ capacities to implement Security Council resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005) that may hinder States’ abilities to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, as well as to identify good practices to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters in the implementation of resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), and to facilitate technical assistance, specifically by promoting engagement between providers of capacity-building assistance and recipients, especially those in the most affected regions, including through the development, upon their request, of comprehensive counter-terrorism strategies that encompass countering violent radicalization and the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, recalling the roles of other relevant actors, for example the Global Counterterrorism Forum;
“25. Underlines that the increasing threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters is part of the emerging issues, trends and developments related to resolutions 1373 (2001) and 1624 (2005), that, in paragraph 5 of resolution 2129 (2013), the Security Council directed CTED to identify, and therefore merits close attention by the Counter-Terrorism Committee, consistent with its mandate;
“26. Requests the Committee established pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999) and 1989 (2011) and the Counter-Terrorism Committee to update the Security Council on their respective efforts pursuant to this resolution;
“27. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General of the United Nations, said, “The world is witnessing a dramatic evolution in the nature of the terrorist threat.” In the past year thousands of civilians had been killed, maimed and displaced — the vast majority of them Muslims — from Afghanistan to Somalia to Nigeria, from Iraq to Libya to Mali. The groups ruthlessly hijacked religion to control territory and resources, brutalize women and girls and slaughter minorities.
The United Nations Al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team, he said, estimated that more than 13,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 80 Member States had joined the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al Nusra Front as a consequence of the conflict in Syria. A creative and comprehensive political strategy was needed there to stem that flow. Terrorism must be defeated in a way that avoids further radicalization and civilian deaths.
Immediate security issues must be addressed, he said, but added that eliminating terrorism required a multilateral, multifaceted approach that also tackled the underlying conditions that provided fertile soil for extremism. Inclusive, just societies that engender education, jobs and opportunity are not conducive to such extremism. “Over the long term, the biggest threat to terrorists in not the power of missiles — it is the politics of inclusion.”
He welcomed the Council resolution and its call for strengthening the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. Through the Counter-Terrorism Centre, the Organization was already working with Member States to develop and implement strategies to combat the flow of foreign terrorist fighters. He cautioned that all such strategies must be consistent with international law and the values and principles of the United Nations.
BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States, said it was only the sixth time in 70 years that the Security Council had met at such a level and it did so to address the most urgent threats to peace and security. The international community was brought together to address the unprecedented flow of foreign fighters to conflicts in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya and, more recently, to Iraq and Syria. Around 15,000 people had joined terrorist groups in the region, mainly Al-Nusra Front and ISIL. Terrorists exacerbated conflicts, posed immediate threats and foreign fighters were likely to return to their home countries to carry out attacks. International cooperation had increased, with foreign fighters arrested, plots disrupted and lives saved but more capacity was needed to tackle the issue and prevent fighters from reaching Syria and slipping back over its borders.
Pointing out that the resolution was legally binding, he described many of its provisions, notably its clarity on respecting human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, which was “not optional”. Calling on reformed former fighters to speak out against groups like ISIL that betrayed Islam by killing men, women and children — most of whom were Muslims — he added a call to redouble efforts to counter the conditions that made some individuals more susceptible to recruitment. That included continued attempts to resolve the situation in Syria peacefully. Resolutions were not enough, he said, stressing that “words spoken today must be matched and translated into action, into deeds.”
GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, President of Nigeria, described his horror at the murders committed by the Islamic State and the murder of French tourist Hervé Gourdel which “typified the new face of global terrorism”. The Islamic State was not alone in its “despicable campaign against humanity”, with several other groups, including Boko Haram in Nigeria, also promoting instability. Foreign fighters added a dangerous dimension to the problem. Nigeria had been confronting threats to stability over the past five years. The most prominent incident was the recent kidnapping of girls from their school. He had mobilized resources to root out terrorism from his nation and was engaged in efforts to improve the situation of the population in Nigeria’s north-east. That included fast-tracking infrastructure redevelopment, a victim support fund and a safe school initiative. He said that the Security Governance Initiative that stemmed from the US-Africa Summit would enhance security on the continent. The Security Council needed to capitalize on the determination it was showing to seek more innovative responses to terror, especially “the growing menace of foreign fighters”.
FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE, President of France, expressed thanks for the sympathy expressed over the beheading of one of his fellow citizens earlier in the day, and said that all terrorism was deeply disturbing. No country was safe from the recruiting activities of groups like ISIL. In response, all countries must take swift national action. His country had been developing legislation that addressed the individual fighters, the networks that got them to conflict areas and the Internet communications that contacted them. A military, economic and political response was also needed — against the travel of fighters, as well as all trafficking and terrorist funding. The root causes of extremism must be addressed. France would play a full role in all those areas.
IDRISS DÉBY ITNO, President of Chad, said that the Council resolution would enable a more effective fight against foreign terrorist fighters within the principals of the Charter. Terrorism had proliferated in Africa, fed in part by such fighters. A recent summit of the African Union Peace and Security Council had requested African inter-country police cooperation to stem terrorist flows and financing, with international technical support. There were already inter-country initiatives on the continent. Chad was strengthening its own efforts and had contributed peacekeepers to Mali. In addressing root causes, it was particularly important to address the problems of African youth to give them opportunities which would keep them from being attracted to extremism.
DALIA GRYBAUSKAITĖ, President of Lithuania, welcomed the adoption of the resolution and said that stopping the troubling global trend meant addressing similar cross-border movement of fighters in Europe. She pledged her country’s full support to efforts to fight terrorist movements around the world.
CRISTINA FERNÁNDEZ DE KIRCHNER, President of Argentina, recalled two terrorist attacks her country had been subjected to in the 1990s and noted there had not been much international cooperation in apprehending those responsible. In the current atmosphere, she hoped there would be better collaboration. ISIL was indeed an international threat, but she had many questions about the international response to terrorism, since it did not seem to be working. More and more groups seemed to have more and more power every day. Terrorists tried to provoke international reactions that fuelled further violence, and it was now discovered that many of the freedom fighters who had been armed externally in Syria were terrorists. A longer-term, consistent strategy against terrorism, with strong respect for human rights, must be developed in which the international community guaranteed that “this monster” of terrorism was not continually fed.
PAUL KAGAME, President of Rwanda, recalling the 2013 attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi, said that today’s resolution was an unfortunate necessity. Rwanda was committed to building an inclusive society through demobilization and integration programmes that aimed to reduce extremism. He pledged to work with the rest of the international community in fighting the international terrorist threat.
ABDULLAH II IBN AL HUSSEIN, King of Jordan, said that an effective strategy against terrorism must be consistent and worldwide. “It is the fight of our times,” requiring a united struggle backed up by resources. Marginalization, poverty and exclusion must be fought at the same time. Immediate action was needed, as ISIL and other groups were consolidating their gains and their Internet presence. There also had to be a zero tolerance policy for support, financing and arming of terrorist groups. In addition, he stressed that countries must act consistently in speaking out against extremism and intolerance, saying that he had been instrumental in differentiating ISIL from Islam. In the same context, the Israeli/Palestinian crisis needed to be resolved. Calling his country a bulwark of stability in an unstable region, he called for greater international support to its efforts in that regard, including its reception of refugees.
MICHELLE BACHELET, President of Chile, emphasized that international cooperation was decisive, as without it any national effort would be in vain. Likewise, preventing the financing of terrorism and engaging international judicial cooperation towards ending impunity were vital and she appealed to Member States to strengthen ways and means of cooperation. Any measures adopted to counter terrorism must respect “rigorously” the rule of law and comply with international humanitarian law. Furthermore, as terrorism could not be defeated solely by coercive measures, she urged that the most “effective” tools be engaged, including education, eliminating inequalities and working with disadvantaged groups of society.
PARK GEUN-HYE, President of the Republic of Korea, said that the resolution highlighted the need for greater cooperation between Member States, including information sharing, law enforcement, border control, and tackling violent extremism. Her country would be implementing the resolution immediately. It was also essential to address the root causes conducive to terrorism, including eliminating poverty and making development sustainable. Towards that end, the Republic of Korea would be increasing its official development assistance (ODA) to least developed countries and continue its humanitarian aid to countries threatened by ISIL and foreign fighters.
DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, described barbaric murders recently committed in the Middle East, which were “medieval” in character. Most shocking was how citizens of other countries had been sucked into the conflict, with around 500 fanatics from the United Kingdom in Syria and Iraq. The shocking murders committed by a fighter with a British accent underlined the sinister and direct nature of the threat. People in his country were sickened that one of their citizens could have killed a fellow Briton who had gone to help. The effects of the threat of terrorism would be around for years because groups like Al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, Al-Qaida and others were involved elsewhere in the world. He noted new powers granted in the United Kingdom to tackle the movement of foreign fighters. The root causes of terrorism had to be addressed and “firm decisive action” was needed to uphold the “values of our free and democratic societies”. Furthermore, sanctions were needed but so was aid to help the afflicted and strengthen democracy. The strategy had to be pursued alongside Arab States, supporting locals and aligning with legal obligations and military aims.
TONY ABBOTT, Prime Minister of Australia, pointed out that citizens from 80 countries were now fighting with ISIL, thus making every country a potential target. There were at least 60 Australians now involved with terrorist organizations in the Middle East and 100 Australians supporting them. Twenty had returned home, “disposed to wreak havoc”. Recently, instructed by an operative in Syria, an Australian terrorist had savagely attacked two policemen. The Government was now enacting laws that would ensure foreign fighters returning home could be arrested, prosecuted and gaoled. More than 60 citizens had their passports suspended as well. “We aren’t just dealing with potential terrorists at home; we’re tackling their inspiration abroad,” he stated, emphasizing that the goal was not to change people but protect them and not to change Governments, but to combat terrorism.
XAVIER BETTEL, Prime Minister of Luxembourg, underlined the danger of fighters returning to their home countries and engaging in terrorist acts there, as well as participating in violence abroad. He said that, as part of the comprehensive strategy called for by the resolution, it was important to ask why and how young people decide to join terrorist groups. He described the legal measures adopted by his country to suppress terrorist financing and other support, and emphasized the need to respect all international law in the fight against terrorism lest more resentment be provoked, fomenting more extremism.
SERGEI LAVROV, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation, said that his country had long advocated consistent combat against all forms of terrorism, and for that reason had opposed interventions that armed terrorists. Foreign terrorist fighters had increased since the intervention in Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East. Pointing to a need to comprehensively combat all terrorists, he proposed an international forum that took a holistic view of the problem and addressed long-standing problems such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that helped create a climate conducive to extremism.
WANG YI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, described recent terrorist attacks in his country and said that Middle East conflicts drew fighters like magnets. Those individuals then spread violence around the world. The Internet was a particularly troubling conduit for extremist ideas and there was a battle for the minds of young people around the world. The United Nations must take the lead in a multisectoral approach to counter the scourge. Military actions must comply with the United Nations Charter. Double standards must be avoided and terrorism must not be connected with any religious or ethnic group. In addition, information sharing must be increased, terrorist use of the Internet must be obstructed, terrorist financing must be ended and the counter-terrorism activities of Middle East countries must be supported. He pledged his country’s support for the global combat against terrorism.
HAIDER AL-ABADI, Prime Minister of Iraq, said that his country represented the first line against terrorism, with ISIL having slaughtered minorities and other civilians and driven hundreds of thousands from their homes. It was not an Iraqi organization, but created through foreign funding, ideologies of hate, oil smuggling networks and foreign recruitment networks, in addition to including former Ba’ath party members. He expressed gratitude to all the States that had stood beside Iraq in the current fight, and requested enough support be provided to conclusively defeat the terrorists. He also called for an end to purchases of oil from ISIL, blocking their travel and recruitment, ending their use of the Internet and assistance in rebuilding cities destroyed by ISIL. His country would continue to combat the terrorists, he pledged, and he looked forward to closer cooperation with countries that had common interests.
RECEP TAYYIP ERDOĞAN, President of Turkey, said the region had become a magnet for attracting foreign fighters due to a collapse of State structures. He had warned the international community repeatedly about the threat but had been greeted by “inertia”. That prepared the ground for Al-Qaida to re-emerge and grow stronger under the name ISIL. Turkey was leading on developing an approach that would stop the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, but stressed that the fight had to begin as soon as they left source countries, preventing their entry into Turkey. Cooperation had been insufficient but recently more information was being shared. As a result, 3,600 people were included on a no-entry list, with many since deported. Turkey had suffered from terrorism for years so was well placed to understand the pain that it entailed. In 2011 the Global Counter-Terror Forum was established in Turkey and all legal measures had been taken against ISIL. There was huge pressure on Turkey’s border caused by refugees, including more than 140,000 Syrian Kurds and 70,000 Yezidis from Iraq. He had not received the international support expected and had been the target of unjust criticism.
SHEIKH TAMIM BIN HAMMAD AL-THANI, Emir of Qatar, said every civilization had to deal with terrorism, and that without international solidarity there could be no effective response. He was committed to international efforts to deal with it, stressing that military action was currently the only option. The situation should not make the international community forget the origins of the crisis, which had stemmed from the political vacuum and the breakdown of the State which had removed the space for dialogue and political solutions. Regimes of terror were killing their own people and once that violence was dealt with, it would be necessary to return to the job of restoring the State. Military action was not the only solution to the problem at hand; there needed to be political solutions aimed at creating a better future. The political aspect needed to be credible and have popular support, avoiding double standards and protecting civilians. It was also vital to avoid carte blanche in responses. The rule of law had to be to the fore at all times.
ROSEN PLEVNELIEV, President of Bulgaria, said that although there was no evidence of foreign fighters being present in his country, it was possible that those persons coming from the region were in possession of forged or fake Bulgarian identity documents. Thus, international cooperation and exchange of operative information, as prescribed in the resolution, was “more than necessary”. The terrorist attack in 2012 in Sarafovo was yet more proof of the spreading recruitment of foreign fighters. The Bulgarian religious community had taken a firm stand, with the adoption of a declaration condemning the activities of ISIL by the Bulgarian General Mufti and supported by the National Council of the Religious Communities in Bulgaria.
UHURU KENYATTA, President of Kenya, noted that last week, his country had commemorated the attack on the Westgate mall that had left 67 people from 13 nationalities dead. Half the terrorists in that attack had been foreigners who had come to fight alongside Al-Shabaab. The fragile security environment in Somalia required regional cooperation. In that regard, he underscored that sufficient support to those ongoing operations was integral to securing stability in Somalia and the region and denying such fighters any operational space, and he urged expanded support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) towards that end.
GJORGE IVANOV, President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, stressed the threat posed to the Balkans by the so-called Islamic Caliphate. His region was already a base for recruitment and radicalization for global terrorists. The number of Balkan fighters in Syria was growing rapidly and so large that it could not be counted. Interacting with foreign fighters of other nationalities, they built a multinational structure that increased the danger of attacks against the West and its interests. Currently, the Balkans was not an operational base for international terror networks but terror was a permanent threat, with a genuine aim to create a Balkan Caliphate. The region was not prepared. The illegal blockade against his country’s membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had to end. It was also necessary to integrate his country and others in the Balkans into the European Union. Delaying that created a political vacuum in a historically porous area. He also called for a regional counter-terrorism centre in the countries of the Western Balkans.
STEPHEN HARPER, Prime Minister of Canada, said foreign fighters aggravated a dangerous regional security situation but there was also a risk that they would return to their home countries to motivate and recruit others to potentially carry out terrorist acts. To counter that, the Combating Terrorism Act had been passed, targeting people leaving or attempting to leave for terrorist purposes. Measures allowed the Government to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals, as well as provided other tools for cracking down on terrorism. Security measures were not the only approach, however, and Canada’s security and intelligence agencies were working on identifying threats, tracking and squeezing off terrorist financing wherever possible.
MARK RUTTE, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, said that as a country of origin for foreign fighters, the Government, over a year ago, had raised its terrorist threat level to the second highest. In the framework of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum, the Netherlands and Morocco had launched a joint initiative to formulate good practices tackling the problem of foreign terrorist fighters. That plan presented a comprehensive set of guidelines focused on every aspect of that threat, covering investigation and prosecution and prevention of radicalization, to name a few. Sanctions, an important instrument for depriving terrorist organizations of financial resources, could also be tightened further. To ensure proper implementation and monitoring of sanctions, he said that, on a United Nations level, technical assistance should be examined in order to see if support to Member States should be enhanced.
ABDELILAH BENKIRANE, Prime Minister of Morocco, said the issue of foreign fighters was not new, though the phenomenon had taken on a new dimension in the context of the Syrian and Iraqi crises. Originally, the threat was contained but today had become a danger to countries of origin, transit, destination and return. A unified, decisive response to the threat was needed from the international community in the form of a strategy that accounted for the various phases of extremism. It was important to disseminate the principles of tolerance and openness and King Mohammed VI was working with others on that front. Morocco would share its own best practices in the context of its counter-terrorism strategy which had yielded clear results. Recruitment cells had been dismantled as a direct result of the efforts of Moroccan authorities. A new bill recently adopted would ratchet up efforts against foreign fighters and work was ongoing with the Netherlands on an initiative that resulted in the Hague-Marrakesh Memorandum on more effective practices, which was particularly effective on legal and security areas. He looked forward to the first meeting of the working group.
ERNA SOLBERG, Prime Minister of Norway, said that her Government had drawn up a strategy for de-radicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration for foreign fighters returning home. Terrorism and “related acts” were already criminalized under Norwegian law, and a bill had been submitted in July with national measures aimed at stemming the flow of foreign fighters to areas in conflict. In Norway, she said that large crowds had marched against extremism.
KAMLA PERSAD-BISSESSAR, Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, said that the resolution, though imperfect, provided a useful platform to fight international terrorism in view of the capacity of each State. Violent extremism was particularly important to that fight in her country. She would encourage international support to assist the country to implement the resolution. Trinidad and Tobago already had a legal regime in place due to previous terrorist incidents.
HERMAN VAN ROMPUY, President of the European Council, said that the grave threat posed by ISIL must be countered by undertaking direct actions to destroy that group’s military and economic capability, by increasing support to affected countries and by stopping foreign fighters from joining the armed force. ISIL would portray that as “a fight against Islam”, but it was “a common fight against cruelty and barbarism”. That’s why public statements by Islamic leaders were so important. The European Council in August backed decisions by individual member States to provide military material to Iraq. European States would also block ISIL’s financial and weapon flows, and cut off illegal oil revenue. A crackdown must take place in “our own communities”. Citizens from Europe, Africa or Asia should not feed ISIL’s ranks.
ELIO DI RUPO, Prime Minister of Belgium, said that the deadly attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels further energized his country’s cooperation with international efforts to stop the proliferation of terrorism. It was important to protect every country’s population, but also those who could be susceptible to recruitment. The root causes of terrorism must be addressed and lessons must be learned from previous interventions. Military action should always be followed up by development help.
IVICA DAČIĆ, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Serbia, believed the resolution would strengthen cooperation between States in the fight against terrorism and extremism. Terror threats had grown in the last decade and extremist activities found “fertile soil in unstable political situations and the lack of socioeconomic perspective”. The root causes of terrorism were manifold and widespread, among them were religious fanaticism, social exclusion and uneven access to education. Military measures alone were not enough to fight terror and a multidimensional approach was needed. Banning recruitment and transport of potential foreign fighters through national laws, controlling money and arms flows and engaging local communities in addressing extremism were some methods. Serbia had faced foreign fighters during the conflict in Kosovo and Metohija and radical preachers were currently active there and in south-west Serbia, potentially recruiting young people to fight in alleged religious wars.
SARTAJ AZIZ, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Pakistan, said his country had “paid a heavy price in blood and resources in the war against terrorism”. To oppose the “hydra-headed monster”, quick, commensurate responses were needed that complied with international law. Foreign terror fighters had no stake in the peace and security of regions where they were active. Instead, they were the core around which radical extremism often flourished. It was essential to resolve the conflicts that bred those fighters. While military action against terrorists was necessary, it was also important to focus on a political approach to stem the growth of terror groups. All States needed to take stringent countermeasures and help build capacities of other affected States.
RAMTANE LAMAMRA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, said the issue of foreign terrorist fighters was not new to his country. It had confronted it steadfastly in the 1990s and had initiated the call for an international comprehensive approach to tackle it. His country had recently welcomed the safe return of two of its diplomats who had been held for almost three years after having been kidnapped in Gao, Mali. Committed to fighting the scourge of terrorism, Algeria had co-sponsored the related draft resolution that sets the political, legal and operational aspects of the appropriate international response. Addressing terrorism meant bearing in mind “all other tentacles of that behemoth phenomenon”, he said, while cautioning that the Middle East conflict would remain a persistent disruption to world peace if the international community did not address the question of illegal occupation, continuous and violent injustice and the denial of the right to self-determination and freedom.
MANKEUR NDIAYE, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Senegal, offering condolences to France and the family of the French citizen just killed by terrorists, said that international cooperation was essential in combating terrorism and the trend of foreign fighters. Noting how political changes and new technologies and multidimensional conflicts created conditions that bred terrorism, he stressed that financing of such groups needed to be given particular concern, especially in the matter of kidnapping. He reiterated his country’s determination and commitment to joining the United Nations in combating the terrorist threat.
EDGARS RINKĒVIČS, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Latvia, expressed his country’s commitment to joining in the fight against terrorism, noting the increasing challenge as fighters moved from one State to another, becoming professional fighters in the process. Member States should take action as urged by the newly adopted resolution. On a national platform, Latvia was working to make sure all necessary measures, as noted in the text, were being taken.
PIETRO CARDINAL PAROLIN, Secretary of State for the Holy See, said that people of faith had a grave responsibility to condemn those who sought to detach faith from reason and instrumentalize it as a justification for violence. To counter the phenomenon of terrorism, achieving cultural understanding among peoples and countries, and social justice for all, was indispensable. He urged Governments to engage with civil society to address the problems of communities most at risk of radicalization and recruitment, and to achieve their satisfactory social integration.
MOGENS JENSEN, Minister for Trade and Development of Denmark, said that the threat of foreign fighters was not an abstract concept, but, in fact constituted a serious concern, as many of them came from his small country. The matter must be addressed through a multifaceted approach, including protecting the citizens who were suffering and stemming the flow of financial means to terrorist organizations, to name a few. Because of terrorist organizations’ transnational character, a response needed to be built on international cooperation and lessons learned. Denmark had sent military support and humanitarian aid, as well as diplomatic support, to the international coalition to combat ISIL. On a national platform, the Government had launched an action plan with interlinked response mechanisms that strengthened local authorities ability to respond to radicalization and supported civil society organizations, among others.
DITMIR BUSHATI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Albania, said ISIL was actively trying to recruit citizens everywhere to join its terrorist cause, meaning the phenomenon of foreign fighters was now of particular concern. Such fighters threatened countries of transit and destination, as well of States of origin when they returned. Countries with insufficient security structures, fragile political stability, low social cohesion, and complex ethnic and religious fabric were particularly at risk. That included countries of the Balkans. Albania was proud to be part of the international response but long-term engagement was necessary and it was important to recall the social, economic and humanitarian dimensions of the crises in Syria and Iraq. He outlined his country’s anti-terror measures and underlined the need to think in terms of what could be offered to marginalized groups within societies.
URMAS PAET, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Estonia, called for agreement on further means and ways to cooperate in the fight against the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters. Foreigners supported ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front and the threat they posed extended to their countries of origin, to which many returned. The repercussions of the same problem were apparent also in the Sahel region. There were many ways to fight terrorism but the response had to be global, including direct action against terrorists’ safe havens, prevention of their travel, and blocking of their finances. The conditions conducive to terrorism also had to be tackled, meaning poverty needed to be addressed. He was satisfied by the manner in which the United Nations and European Union counter-terrorism strategies were taking that approach forward. Resources and mechanisms had to be provided to support the commitment made in the resolution and he underlined his commitment in that regard.
YERZHAN ASHIKBAEV, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, said that cooperation between neighbouring States and regional organizations played a key role in preventing terrorism. The growing phenomenon of young people travelling to join “terrorist-driven conflicts” around the world was of particular concern. Kazakhstan was a country of more than 130 ethnic groups with 17 religious denominations, he said, and the country was committed to promoting ideals and values of inter-ethnic and interfaith dialogue for peace and security.
ALBERT CHUA ( Singapore) said his country was not immune to the threat of terrorism and radical ideologies, noting that there were foreign fighters in Syria who had travelled from South-East Asia. His Government knew of a handful of Singaporeans who had gone to Syria to take part in the conflict. Also, there were other citizens from his country who had expressed interest in joining the fighting in Syria but who had been stopped before they could travel. Noting that Al-Qaida’s key regional affiliate in South-East Asia, Jemaah Islamiyah, had been responsible for several large-scale terrorist attacks, he said that his Government in 2001 had foiled a plot by Jemaah Islamiyah members to attack targets in Singapore, which included a number of diplomatic missions. Fortunately, they had been stopped before they could do harm. To counter radical ideology, his Government had worked with its Muslim religious leaders, community groups and individuals to rehabilitate terrorist detainees and to delegitimize radical ideologies. The resolution on foreign terrorist fighters contained in S/2014/688, which had just been adopted by the Council and which his country had co-sponsored, was an important step in the global effort to combat terrorism.
VAN BOHEMAN, Secretary for Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, said that while national and regional circumstances varied, no country was immune to the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters. A small number of New Zealand nationals were known to have travelled to Syria to fight with extremist groups. His country was conscious of the threat that those fighters posed to many of its neighbours in the Asia Pacific. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive approach in tackling that threat, he said that his country’s domestic strategy included efforts to confront the drivers of radicalization and violent extremism by engaging communities to help build their resilience; as well as preventative security and law enforcement measures, such as cancelling passports. New Zealand was also working with its partners in South-East Asia and the Pacific to build their capacity to counter terrorism and violent extremism, and to help them ensure that they became neither a target nor a source of international terrorism.
MANUEL GÓMEZ-ACEBO ( Spain) said his country was suffering the problem of terrorist foreign fighters first hand as it had identified at least 50 individuals who had exited its borders to join terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq. To that end, his country was preparing a change in its laws so that it might be punishable as a crime for individuals to exit Spain seeking to join a third country’s terrorist group.
AHMED AL JARMAN, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, said that addressing the threat of terrorism could not be done through security and military measures only, but also required the international community to pursue a unified comprehensive strategy that prevented recruitment of terrorist elements. That included tightening control over social networks, which were used in attracting a larger number of disillusioned youth to achieve the vicious goals under religious slogans, which had no connection with any divine faith. His country was currently conducting a study on the mechanisms of preventing terrorist organizations from using social networks for recruitment purposes.
BASHAR JA’AFARI ( Syria) said his country had been the first to denounce groups, such as ISIL, and communicate the dangers they posed. His country was also the first to confront ISIL on the ground. “Those terrorists have run riot in Syria”, he said, but they couldn’t have done so without the support from Member States which gave them financial, technical and diplomatic support. Furthermore, the presence of Israel in the coalition undermined efforts to fight terrorism, pointing to that country’s shooting down of a Syrian plane that was only doing its national duty. The United Nations was the main forum for bolstering efforts to combat terrorism, but success meant that there had to be a distancing from politicization and finding pretext for combating terrorism. There could be no “moderate” terrorism as compared to “extreme” terrorism or “good” terrorist and “bad” terrorism. “Terrorism is terrorism”, he stated, pointing to Member States such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia being included as part of the effort to combat those groups when they were supporting them.
VINOD KUMAR ( India) noted that while the current focus on foreign terrorist fighters was recent, the threat had existed for some time and was part of the broader challenge of international terrorism. Commending the Security Council for establishing a framework to tackle the phenomenon, he stressed that the supply chain of terror was global. The economic and operational infrastructure of terrorist networks needed to be dismantled. Endless debate was not a luxury afforded to the international community in responding to the issue and the price paid for procrastination was human lives. Calling for an international convention on the matter, he stressed the importance of cooperation, particularly on information sharing, financing, recruitment and travel. States also needed to ensure that their territories were not used to recruit and train terrorists.
HUSSEIN HANIFF ( Malaysia) said that his country had grappled with terrorism on its own soil, and that it had dealt with the threat by winning the population’s “hearts and minds”. That was achieved by reassuring them that they and their children would have a decent, secure life and a promising future. His Government believed that terrorism needed to be addressed in a comprehensive, multifaceted manner, and not exclusively through the use of force. He called for a “Global Movement of Moderates” to “drown out” the voices of the extremists.
PALITHA T.B. KOHONA ( Sri Lanka) reminded the Council that his country had suffered for three decades at the hands of a terrorist group that was described by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation as the world’s most ruthless. That group had a devastating impact on Sri Lanka. His Government had stressed time and time again that non-State actors had no respect for international law. ISIL was taking a transnational form which posed a threat to the region. Therefore, it was in the best interest of the international community that no space be afforded to any terrorist group or their sympathizers. Expressing solidarity to those impacted by terrorist groups, he said that Sri Lanka stood ready to help the victims on the ground.
AMR ABDELLATIF ABOULATTA ( Egypt) underlined the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin. He said the revolutions in his region had taken on a religious dimension, and Egypt had often called for a general strategy to deal with the issue. Appeals were made to young people, calling for them to fight, encouraging them to take action in the name of religion. Young people were being told lies and Egypt was taking measures to combat that issue. His country’s Criminal Code defined terrorism and contained provisions for its penalization. In talking about combating terrorism in the Middle East, it was important that the approach was comprehensive. The issue went beyond the Islamic State as terror had to be dealt with wherever it was found, Syria or elsewhere.
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