UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday thanked the American President Barack Obama for heading a UNSC meeting to discuss foreign fighters including the Islamic State (ISIS).
Addressing UNSC member states, Ban said: “In the last year, terrorist attacks have killed, maimed and displaced many thousands of civilians – the vast majority of them Muslims from Afghanistan to Somalia to Nigeria… from Iraq to Libya to Mali.”
He blamed the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters on the situation in Syria and Iraq. “A long period of upheaval and, until recently, unresponsive leadership in Iraq, coupled with outrageous human rights abuses in Syria, have created a hothouse of horrors,” he said.
Ban said that “the UN’s Al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team estimates that more than 13,000 foreign terrorist fighters from over 80 member states have joined ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front.”
Presided by Obama, the UNSC approved a resolution demanding that countries take action to stem the flow of foreign jihadists to Iraq and Syria.
The resolution requires all nations to adopt laws that would make it a serious crime for their nationals to join jihadist groups such ISS and Al-Nusra Front.
Obama described the measure as “historic”, however cautioned that “resolutions alone will not be enough” and urged governments to work towards choking off the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria “not just in the days ahead, but for years to come”.
The binding resolution falls under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which means the measures could be enforced by economic sanctions or military force.