Daesh poses both a local and global threat [fr]
Threats caused by Daesh
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, Chargée d’Affaires a.i.
Security Council - 23 August 2018
I, too, wish to thank Mr. Voronkov for his informative briefing on the seventh report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by Da’esh (S/2018/770). I thank also Ms. Coninsx and Ms. Cook for their very enlightening briefings. I wish specifically to commend the outstanding work done by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation through its report on the return of women and minors affiliated with Da’esh.
The report of the Secretary-General underscores the fact that despite the loss of its territorial foothold, Da’esh continues to pose a grave threat, both locally and globally. Its transformation into a global underground network, the widespread network of foreign terrorist fighters and the appeal of terrorist propaganda only make the threat more resilient. In the face of an enemy that is endlessly adapting, our responses, too, must evolve.
I wish therefore to stress four areas where France believes that our efforts can and must be scaled up.
I turn first to the operations of the international coalition against Da’esh. These must continue so as to see through to completion the struggle against the terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria following the decisive victories over that group, which has lost virtually all of its territory. In order to prevent its resurgence, our military actions are complemented by efforts on the civilian front aimed at a lasting stabilization of the areas liberated from Da’esh and at reconstruction where possible, such as in Iraq, in keeping with the pledges made at the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq, held in February. It is important that all stakeholders and the United Nations system remain mobilized and that their efforts be translated into tangible progress for the peoples concerned.
We must also eradicate the root causes of terrorism through the implementation of pluralist and inclusive political solutions in Syria and Iraq that meet the deep-seated and legitimate concerns of the people. Putting an end to impunity for the crimes perpetrated by Da’esh in the Levant is vital to rebuilding inclusive and peaceful societies. I am specifically thinking here of the grave violations perpetrated by Da’esh against children and of the sexual violence against and the enslavement of more than 6,000 Yazidis. In that vein, France reiterates its full support for the independent international investigative mechanisms established by the United Nations to shed light on the serious crimes committed in Syria and Iraq and call on all States Members of the United Nations and the system as a whole to work hand in hand to that end.
The second area where we need to redouble our efforts is the struggle against the financing of terrorism, which is a top priority for France. Although the loss of territory has significantly reduced Da’esh’s revenues, the group has devised increasingly sophisticated adaptation strategies. Our legal and operational frameworks must therefore also be consistently adapted and strengthened so as to enhance the transparency of financial flows, the sharing of information and cooperation with the private sector.
To that end, last April France organized an international conference on combating financing for Da’esh and Al-Qaida that brought together 70 States and some 20 international organizations. It culminated in the adoption of the Paris Agenda, which represents an effective road map for stepping up our commitment, and we call for the implementation of the commitments undertaken within that framework.
Thirdly, we must continue our efforts to counter Internet use by terrorist groups. A significant amount of progress has been achieved and Internet companies have mobilized, but a great deal remains to be done, as demonstrated by the broadcasting of a nearly one-hour statement by Omar Al-Baghdadi on Telegram on 22 August. We will continue our efforts, including at the European level, to more effectively obstruct the dissemination of terrorist propaganda, which fuels radicalization, and the use of the Internet for the financing of terrorism.
Finally, the relocation and return of foreign terrorist fighters remains a more pervasive threat that our countries must address. In the face of this challenge, whose complexity was eloquently described by Ms. Coninsx, we must step up our efforts to track, monitor and follow up individuals who pose a risk through the consistent sharing of information. In the light of the diversity of the profiles concerned, close cooperation between military, civilian and financial intelligence services and agencies and with the judicial authorities is vital to strengthen the nexus between intelligence and the actions of criminal justice.
Education, social services and justice are vital to assist families. Through our national mechanism, France emphasizes specifically caring for children at the social, psychological and educational levels, in order to facilitate their integration. We will therefore host in Paris next September a regional meeting organized by the Office of Counter-Terrorism on dealing, with full respect for human rights, with children who accompany foreign terrorist fighters.
I wish to stress the unifying role that the United Nations must continue to play in the fight against terrorism, specifically in areas where Da’esh has established a presence or that it has infiltrated. France will continue to provide support to United Nations bodies in their efforts to identify needs and the responses required as well as in the promotion of coordination among all concerned stakeholders in the wake of the United Nations High-level Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies of Member States, held here in late June.