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UN Security Council Resolution No. 2178

 24 September 2014 – Security Council- 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 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;

 “International Cooperation

 “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.”

 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.

M.A.

 

 

 

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