New York: The UN Security Council says the threat of terrorism has increased and become more diffuse in various regions of the world aided by new technologies.
It strongly condemned the flow of weapons, military equipment, drones and explosive devices to Islamic State and al-Qaeda extremists and their affiliates.
Its presidential statement, approved by all 15 council members, was adopted at the end of an open meeting on counter-terrorism chaired by External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India, who called terrorism “an existential threat to international peace and security”.
US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland told the council that “last year, the world faced more than 8000 terrorist incidents, across 65 countries, killing more than 23,000 people.” She said the UN estimated that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism has increased over 320 per cent in recent years.
“Other recent attacks around the world – the bombing of a police station in Indonesia, the coup attempt in Germany, and hateful incidents here in our country [US] – remind us that no country is safe from this threat, and it cannot be defeated by any of us alone or by any regional bloc,” she said. “We must all work together.”
In the presidential statement, which is a step below a resolution, the Security Council expressed grave concern that terrorists were raising and transferring funds in a variety of ways, including abusing legitimate businesses and non-profit groups, kidnapping for ransom and trafficking in people, cultural items, drugs and weapons.
The council urged the 193 UN member states to prioritise countering terrorist financing.
It also said terrorist groups “craft distorted narratives that are based on the misinterpretation and misrepresentation of religion to justify violence” and use names, religion, or religious symbols for propaganda, recruitment and manipulation of followers. To tackle this, the council called for counter-narratives “promoting tolerance and coexistence”.