Egypt's Foreign Minster Sameh Shoukry at the UN Security Council - Reuters Egypt's Foreign Minster Sameh Shoukry at the UN Security Council - Reuters

Egypt remarks on UN Security Council’s Islamic State report

Fri, Jun. 9, 2017
CAIRO – 9 June 2017: Egypt participated in the UN Security Council session held on Thursday to discuss the UN Secretary General's fifth report on the ongoing confrontation with Islamic State (IS).

Senior Egyptian UN diplomat Ihab Moustafa commented on the report, highlighting a number of points that require more concentration from the council.

“The report focused on a number of important aspects of international anti-terrorism efforts and presented specific proposals, but also reflects a number of gaps which need to be focused on,” said Moustafa.

He pointed out that the fifth paragraph of the UN report referred to a significant decline in the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria, due to their relocation from conflict zones to other areas which threatens international peace and security in new locations.

Moustafa demanded further clarification on this issue, focusing on how foreign terrorists are able to enter Syria and Iraq and how could they potentially move from conflict zones to other areas?

The report’s eighth paragraph addressed countries that share borders with conflict-ridden areas. Those countries cannot detain, indict or extradite suspects holding foreign nationalities due to the lack of required evidence, Moustafa noted.

He asked how the Security Council could solve this security and legal issue amid ongoing counter-terrorism efforts. He added that Egypt is looking forward to receiving specific suggestions from the council in this regard.

The Egyptian representative also highlighted the sixth paragraph in the report which addresses the use of social media in enabling terrorist acts, adding that there is a general recommendation in the 16th paragraph to monitor the use of social media by terrorists.

Moustafa demanded the council articulate specific regulations to confront this, naming social media as a vital element that is used by terrorists to recruit more members and promote destructive ideologies.

The report also indicates that Islamic State’s funding and resources have declined over the last 16 months, although the terrorist organization is still able to rely on petroleum sales and tax collection as its two main sources of revenue.

Moustafa asked the council to identify the buyers of IS’s petroleum and further to clarify how the organization is able to transport oil from Syria and Iraq to other countries. He also demanded the council investigate financial transactions to the terrorist group with greater scrutiny.

Moreover, Moustafa called for the Security Council to launch an investigation into media reports that Qatar paid a ransom of up to $1bn to IS to release 26 Qataris, including members of the country's ruling royal family.

"This violation of the Security Council resolutions, if proved correct, shall definitely have a negative bearing on counter-terrorism efforts on the ground," Moustafa told the council.

Finally, Moustafa called on the Security Council to maintain veracity when dealing with specific violence-related terminology, citing the use by some UN members of the term “Islamic extremism” in their reports. He stressed that Islam is a peaceful and tolerant religion, whereas Islamic State and others like it are violent groups that use religion to justify terrorist acts.

Moustafa praised the adoption of UN Resolution 2354 that features a new framework developed by its Counter-Terrorism Committee, chaired by Egypt. The resolution urges member states to follow a number of concrete guidelines aimed at countering the narratives used by terrorist groups.
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