The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gary Quinlan (Australia):
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly murders of United States humanitarian aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig, also known as Peter Kassig, and at least 15 Syrian captives by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the peoples of the United States and Syria. These crimes once again demonstrate the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people.
Regarding Mr. Kassig, the members of the Security Council noted that his murder is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers humanitarian personnel face every day in Syria. 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 respect and protect 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 stressed again that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence, and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Security 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 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 Abdul-Rahman Kassig and the Syrian captives shall be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively 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.