The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President María Cristina Perceval (Argentina):
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly murder of Alan Henning, a volunteer British humanitarian aid worker, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This crime is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers volunteer humanitarian personnel face every day in Syria. It also once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the family of the victim, to the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as to the families of all victims of ISIL.
The members of the Security Council stressed again that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Council further emphasized that such continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by ISIL do not intimidate them, but rather stiffen their resolve that there has to be a common effort among Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida, as the Council resolved in United Nations Security Council resolution 2170 (2014).
The members of the Security Council recalled United Nations Security Council resolution 2175 (2014) and their demand that all parties involved in an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international humanitarian law, including to ensure the respect and protection of all humanitarian personnel. The members of the Security Council also recalled their condemnation of all forms of violence and intimidation to which those participating in humanitarian operations are increasingly exposed.
The members of the Security Council demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage by ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for the killing of Alan Henning shall be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed 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, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.