8148th Security Council Meeting: Threats to International Peace and Security

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SIX OFFICIAL 21-Dec-2017 00:44:24
Security Council urges strengthening of measures to counter threats posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters, adopting Resolution 2396 (2017) at 8148th meeting.
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Expressing grave concern over risks posed by foreign terrorist fighters returning from conflict zones, the Security Council today urged Member States to strengthen their efforts to stem the threat through measures on border control, criminal justice, information‑sharing and counter‑extremism.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2396 (2017), the Council, expressing concern that foreign terrorist fighters connected to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), the Nusrah Front (ANF) and other cells, affiliates, splinter groups or derivatives, were returning to foster radicalization and attacks on soft targets, urged Member States to step up implementation of resolution 2178 (2014).

Towards that aim, the Council reiterated its call to Member States to cooperate and support each other’s efforts, noting that, in the 2014 resolution addressing foreign terrorist fighters, it had decided all States should establish serious criminal offenses in regard to the travel, recruitment, and financing of foreign terrorist fighters.

In addition, the Council called on Member States to strengthen measures to prevent the transit of terrorists. Those measures included ensuring that identity documents were not forged, as well as employing evidence‑based risk assessments, screening procedures, and the collection and analysis of travel data to identify individuals who posed a terrorist threat, in accordance with domestic and international law, without resorting to profiling based on discrimination.

The Council further called on Member States to take appropriate action in regards to suspected terrorists and their accompanying family members who entered their territories, including by considering appropriate prosecution, rehabilitation, and reintegration measures in compliance with domestic and international law. It also called upon Member States to notify other countries of the travel, arrival, deportation or detention of individuals whom they had reasonable grounds to believe were terrorists.

While emphasizing that Member States were obliged to bring to justice anyone who participated in terrorist acts, the Council stressed the importance of assisting women or children associated with foreign terrorist fighters who might be victims of terrorism. It also underlined the need for tailored prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration strategies for family members that might have abetted terrorist acts in varied roles.

Through the text, the Council also welcomed measures being taken to strengthen travel security, including the approval of a new Global Aviation Security Plan by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and monitoring procedures, calling for continuous upgrading of such procedures in line with developing threats. Outlining United Nations efforts to address returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters, it urged strengthened cooperation between all counter‑terrorism bodies on the issue.

Michele J. Sison (United States), noting the changes to the terrorist threat that had occurred with the loss of territory by ISIL and the dissemination of its fighters, welcomed the provision for all countries to develop capabilities to identify terrorists as they attempted to travel. Her country had used the identification technology and resulting data to prevent terrorist acts without impinging on individual rights. Global implementation must now be ensured to protect the international public. In addition, a holistic approach was needed to mobilize whole societies in fighting terrorism while respecting human rights and the rule of law. Because the threat of terrorism was transnational, the resolution reaffirmed the need for global cooperation, along with collaboration between all relevant counter‑terrorism bodies.

Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt) said that, as his country was at the forefront of fighting terrorism, he had voted for the resolution. However, he noted that it would have been better if stronger language had been used making the provision of information on suspected terrorists to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) compulsory. His delegation had sought to link the deployment of identification technology with the provision of adequate resources for that purpose. Despite its flaws, however, implementation of the resolution must be ensured and assistance must be provided so that all countries could meet their obligations. He pledged his country’s continued strong efforts in the struggle against terrorism.

Inigo Lambertini (Italy) also noted the evolution of the terrorist threat in the three years since resolution 2178 (2014) had been adopted. He welcomed the Council’s action that adapted to those changes, along with an approach that balanced security concerns with reintegration activities. He called on all countries to quickly work to implement the measures and to assist those countries that needed assistance.

Petr V. Iliichev (Russian Federation) said that resolution 2396 (2017) complemented other texts on fighting terrorism. However, punishment for those who travelled for terrorist purposes must be ensured in order to deter further crimes. Further, rehabilitation must not replace criminal accountability for the serious actions involved. He welcomed the fact that the text addressed extremism. Countering that menace required much more than slogans; it required the engagement of all sectors of society.

Lie Cheng (China) called for worldwide cooperation to stem the threat of foreign terrorist fighters. He voiced his hope that the resolution be implemented quickly and effectively. His country was ready to work with all others in countering terrorism and building international safety and stability.

François Delattre (France), noting that some 700 French residents were either in Syria or Iraq, and there were over 220 returnees along with many children, said that the resolution both strengthened the toolbox to be used for countering the phenomenon and encouraged greater cooperation for that purpose. He welcomed the consideration of family members in the text.

Irina Schoulgin Nyoni (Sweden), also expressing her hope that the resolution would reduce the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, welcomed the emphasis on respect for the rule of law and human rights that were necessary in the fight against terrorism. Her delegation had supported a balanced text that addressed conditions conducive to extremism. Noting that some 300 citizens of her country had travelled to fight in foreign conflicts, she said that Sweden had established a centre to combat extremism. Stressing the importance of preventing children from becoming victims of terrorism, she urged that all international law, including refugee law, be complied with.

Stephen Benedict Hickey (United Kingdom) said that the resolution was a joint solution to a joint problem, engaging all appropriate mechanisms in the interest of safety and for identifying dangerous individuals. Highlighting the text’s depiction of the role of all of civil society in preventing extremism, he pledged his country’s continued work with the international community to fight the terrorist threat.

Elbio Oscar Rosselli Frieri (Uruguay) emphasized that international law must be respected, stressing that the implementation effort was different from country to country. Some countries might not receive adequate assistance because they were not thought of as priorities. His country would continue to exert its utmost efforts to implement counter‑terrorist resolutions within the respect for international law.

Barlybay Sadykov (Kazakhstan), highlighting the importance of information exchange between all actors, pledged that his country stood ready to work with all others to combat the threat of foreign fighters.

Koro Bessho (Japan), Council President for December, spoke in his national capacity, underscoring the importance of moving from adoption to implementation. He, too, pledged his country’s readiness to work with other countries to strengthen their capabilities in that context.

The meeting began at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 3:49 p.m.
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