The Security Council determined today that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Sham (ISIL/ISIS) constituted an “unprecedented” threat to international peace and security, calling upon Member States with the requisite capacity to take “all necessary measures” to prevent and suppress its terrorist acts on territory under its control in Syria and Iraq.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2249 (2015), the Council unequivocally condemned the terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIL — also known as Da’esh — on 26 June in Sousse, on 10 October in Ankara, on 31 October over the Sinaï Peninsula, on 12 November in Beirut and on 13 November in Paris, among others. It expressed its deepest condolences to the victims and their families, as well as to the people and Governments of Tunisia, Turkey, Russian Federation, Lebanon and France.
The 15-member body condemned in the strongest terms ISIL’s gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights, as well as its destruction and looting of cultural heritage. Those who committed, or were otherwise responsible for, terrorist acts or human rights violations must be held accountable. By other terms, the Council urged Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Iraq and Syria, and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism.
Following the vote, nearly all Council members took the floor to decry the “barbaric” attacks and hateful world view espoused by ISIL, reaffirming their support in both stemming the threat and bringing perpetrators to justice. In an echo of the sentiments voiced by many around the table Spain’s representative declared: “Today, we are all French, Russian, Malian and Arab,” adding: “It is time to act with a French, Russian, Malian and Arab heart.” The Council had a duty to guarantee the values and principles of the United Nations, and all must close ranks to vanquish terrorism, he stressed.
France’s representative, recalling that Da’esh had perpetrated an act of war against his country on 13 November, said today’s vote signalled recognition of the threat’s exceptional nature. The fight against terrorism could only be effective if combined with a political transition that would eliminate Da’esh, he said, adding that France had obtained activation of the European Union’s mutual solidarity clause.
The Russian Federation’s representative said today’s unanimous vote was a step towards the creation of a broad anti-terrorism front aimed at eradicating root causes. That also had been the aim of a Russian draft presented to the Council on 30 September, he said, describing attempts by some to block his delegation’s efforts as politically short-sighted.
Also speaking today were representatives of China, United States, Nigeria, Lithuania, Jordan, New Zealand, Chile, Angola, Venezuela and the United Kingdom.
The meeting began at 5:32 p.m. and ended at 6:16 p.m.
FRANÇOIS DELATTRE (France) recalled that, on 13 November, Da’esh had perpetrated an act of war against France. The outcome had been deadly: 130 dead and 600 injured. Not only had Da’esh struck France, it sought a target far beyond — the world. Some 24 nationalities were among those who had died, he said, noting that Da’esh had attacked Lebanon, Turkey, Russian Federation and many other countries. The President of France had noted the country’s absolute determination to combat Da’esh with all means necessary, while remaining loyal to United Nations values. By adopting the resolution, the Council had unanimously recognized the exceptional nature of the threat, and had called on all Member States to eradicate Da’esh sanctuaries and push back its ideology. The text provided a guarantee that there would be an effective fight against transnational terrorism, he said, pointing out that collective action could now be based on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The fight against terrorism could only be effective if combined with a political transition that would put an end to Da’esh, he said, adding that France had obtained activation of the European Union’s mutual solidarity clause.
LIU JIEYI (China) said that ISIL and other terrorist organizations had launched deadly attacks around the world and had killed Chinese citizens, among others. Emphasizing that the perpetrators must be brought to justice, he said all terrorist acts were grave criminal acts that threatened international peace and security. While the international community must join hands and form a united front against terrorism, actions must also address the root causes and the financing of terrorism. Combating East Turkistan terrorist forces was an important part of the fight.
ROMÁN OYARZUN MARCHESI (Spain), declaring “today, we are French, Russian and Arab”, praised the Council’s quick and united action. The only way to combat terrorism was to continue with one’s own way of life, he said, quoting a Roman Emperor who once said: “The best revenge is not to be like them.” The Council had a duty to guarantee the values and principles of the United Nations, and all must close ranks to vanquish terrorism. It was time for citizens of the world to form a coalition to oppose those “who wish to slit our throats”.
MICHELE SISON (United States) said her country’s Government stood with victims of terrorism from all faiths and nationalities. Accelerated efforts were needed to degrade the hateful world view espoused by ISIL and Al-Nusrah Front. Welcoming the resolution’s call upon States to take all necessary measures, in accordance with international law, to counter those groups, she declared: “We must choke off funding, arms and other support.” Iraq faced the threat of attacks from ISIL in Syria, and the Syrian Government had shown that it could not and would not suppress that threat. The United States was working with Iraq, and leading an international mission, in line with the United Nations Charter, taking necessary and proportionate military action to deny ISIL safe haven, she said. It looked forward to continuing cooperation within the Council’s sanctions committees to implement those and other tools against extremist groups. She called upon the Council to support a political process in Syria and to establish a process leading to an inclusive, non-sectarian Government in that country.
VITALY CHURKIN (Russian Federation) said, “we are all outraged over attacks in Sinai and Paris”, as well as in Turkey, Tunisia, Lebanon and Mali. Unequivocally condemning all terrorist acts, he said the masterminds would be punished. The Government of the Russian Federation sought broad cooperation with other States to that end. “We had to support the French resolution,” he said, noting that despite a tight time frame, France’s delegation had taken his country’s amendments on board. The United Nations Charter should be the foundation of anti-terrorism efforts, a reference now included in the text. Emphasizing that the statement by the International Syria Support Group, alongside the Geneva communiqué, should be used to settle the crisis in Syria, he said, describing today’s unanimous vote as a step towards the creation of a broad anti-terrorism front aimed at eradicating root causes. That was also the aim of a Russian draft presented to the Council on 30 September, and attempts by some to block such efforts were politically short-sighted, he added.
KAYODE LARO (Nigeria) condemned attacks by ISIL in Paris, by Boko Haram in Nigeria and by Al-Qaida-linked terrorists in Bamako in the strongest terms, emphasizing that the perpetrators must be relentlessly pursued and brought to justice. Resolution 2249 (2015) provided a framework for achieving that, and States must now implement it.
RAIMONDA MURMOKAITĖ (Lithuania), welcoming the prompt adoption of the resolution, said today’s terrorists were “outpacing and out-high-teching” United Nations counterterrorism efforts. Calling for a revaluation of existing instruments and measures, she emphasized that all parts of the counter-terrorism system, both within and outside the United Nations, must work as one, from assessment to assistance. A breakthrough was also urgently needed in tackling the financing of terrorism, given the increasing diversification and complexity of funding sources and channels, as well as the nefarious links between terrorism and organized cross-border crime. “We will have to deal with the uneasy question of how much of our liberties and freedoms we are ready to sacrifice to ensure our safety and security in a way that does not support repression,” she added.
DINA KAWAR (Jordan) said terrorism sought to destroy the values of coexistence and had now become a global war. The adoption of today’s resolution reflected the need to reinforce and coordinate international efforts in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) and other terrorist groups. Through the unanimous vote, the Council had demonstrated its unity, she said, adding that his country would combat terrorism by all means possible.
GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) said his delegation stood in solidarity with the victims of attacks by ISIL and other groups. The Council must speak up in times of crisis, and today it had sent a strong message of unity in the fight against terrorism. The Council had an important role in uniting the international community.
CRISTIÁN BARROS MELET (Chile) said his delegation valued the resounding message sent by the Council through the resolution’s unanimous vote. The authors of terrorist acts must be brought to justice. All Council resolutions on the matter must be applied, he stressed. Combating terrorism was in keeping with obligations of international law, but the international community must also identify the root causes. Chile would continue to support action against terrorism by the Council and all multilateral organizations, he said.
ISMAEL ABRAÃO GASPAR MARTINS (Angola) said his Government had supported the resolution as an important step in combating terrorism and building an “indispensable” international coalition. Condemning ISIL as an unprecedented threat to international peace and security, he said its eradication, as well as that of Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and other extremist groups was a priority. Terrorists had shown their capacity to spread their ideology through attacks, human rights violations and hatred towards others on cultural, religious or ethnic grounds. Their heinous acts included trafficking in cultural resources and recruiting fighters on a scale rarely seen since the Second World War. It was time for the international community to “set aside national egos and arrogance” and work towards a global coalition to fight terrorism, he emphasized, expressing hope that the resolution’s adoption would be a “wake-up call” for a radical change in attitudes on the part of the world’s main players.
RAFAEL DARÍO RAMÍREZ CARREÑO (Venezuela) welcomed the resolution’s rejection of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, regardless of motivation, emphasizing that tackling terrorism must be done without double standards. “There are no good terrorists and bad terrorists,” he said, reiterating that terrorism endangered territorial integrity and unity among States. Expressing alarm over the military support offered to terrorist groups such as ISIL and Al-Nusrah Front, which allowed them to destabilize legitimate Governments and halt socioeconomic development. Now more than ever, the Council must address its root causes and develop effective strategies to stop terrorist narratives, he stressed, adding that it must act in a more preventative manner. The phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters was global, requiring the implementation of resolutions on financing, training and illicit arms transfers, he said, voicing hope that today’s resolution would be coordinated with the concerned countries.
MATTHEW RYCROFT (United Kingdom), Council President, speaking in his national capacity, declared that today the Council had sent a clear message that there would be no respite from its efforts to stop and destroy ISIL, whose brutality understood no bounds, and whose determination to carry out attacks must be met with greater resolve to defeat them. “This resolution is a powerful, international recognition of the threat ISIL poses,” he said, calling for all lawful actions and measures to combat it. “This resolution reminds us that measures must be implemented if the international response is to succeed.” The Council stood in solidarity with the people of France, he said, commending that country’s leadership on the text. He also welcomed the Council’s speed, unity and clarity of purpose in adopting it.
The full text of resolution 2249 (2015) reads as follows:
“The Security Council,
“Reaffirming its resolutions 1267 (1999), 1368 (2001), 1373 (2001), 1618 (2005), 1624 (2005), 2083 (2012), 2129 (2013), 2133 (2014), 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014), 2195 (2014), 2199 (2015) and 2214 (2015), and its relevant presidential statements,
“Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations,
“Reaffirming its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence and unity of all States in accordance with purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,
“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,
“Determining that, by its violent extremist ideology, its terrorist acts, its continued gross systematic and widespread attacks directed against civilians, abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those driven on religious or ethnic ground, its eradication of cultural heritage and trafficking of cultural property, but also its control over significant parts and natural resources across Iraq and Syria and its recruitment and training of foreign terrorist fighters whose threat affects all regions and Member States, even those far from conflict zones, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da’esh), constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,
“Recalling that the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF) and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida also constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“Determined to combat by all means this unprecedented threat to international peace and security,
“Noting the letters dated 25 June 2014 and 20 September 2014 from the Iraqi authorities which state that Da’esh has established a safe haven outside Iraq’s borders that is a direct threat to the security of the Iraqi people and territory,
“Reaffirming that Member States must ensure that any measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law;
“Reiterating that the situation will continue to deteriorate further in the absence of a political solution to the Syria conflict and emphasizing the need to implement the Geneva communiqué of 30 June 2012 endorsed as Annex II of its resolution 2118 (2013), the joint statement on the outcome of the multilateral talks on Syria in Vienna of 30 October 2015 and the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November 2015,
“1. Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks perpetrated by ISIL also known as Da’esh which took place on 26 June 2015 in Sousse, on 10 October 2015 in Ankara, on 31 October 2015 over Sinaï, on 12 November 2015 in Beirut and on 13 November 2015 in Paris, and all other attacks perpetrated by ISIL also known as Da’esh, including hostage-taking and killing, and notes it has the capability and intention to carry out further attacks and regards all such acts of terrorism as a threat to peace and security;
“2. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the people and Governments of Tunisia, Turkey, Russian Federation, Lebanon and France, and to all Governments whose citizens were targeted in the above mentioned attacks and all other victims of terrorism;“3. Condemns also in the strongest terms the continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law, as well as barbaric acts of destruction and looting of cultural heritage carried out by ISIL also known as Da’esh;
“4. Reaffirms that those responsible for committing or otherwise responsible for terrorist acts, violations of international humanitarian law or violations or abuses of human rights must be held accountable;
“5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;
“6. Urges Member States to intensify their efforts to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Iraq and Syria and to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, and urges all Members States to continue to fully implement the above-mentioned resolutions;
“7. Expresses its intention to swiftly update the 1267 committee sanctions list in order to better reflect the threat posed by ISIL also known as Da’esh;
“8. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”