Now is not the time to lower our guard or decrease pressure on Daesh [fr]
Report of the Secretary-General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh)
Transnational organized crime at sea as a threat to international peace and security
Statement by Mr François Delattre, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 11 February2019
I should like to join others in warmly thanking Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov and Assistant Secretary-General Michèle Coninsx for their very informative briefings and the exemplary commitment that they and their teams have demonstrated in our common struggle against terrorism.
As the eighth report of the Secretary-General (S/2019/103) on this topic underscores, despite the loss of its territorial entrenchment Da’esh continues to pose a serious threat to international peace and security. The group has evolved into an underground network relying upon dispersed cells potentially comprised of former foreign terrorist fighters and, as we know, its propaganda continues to attract many sympathizers.
In that regard, clearly now is not the time to lower our guard or decrease pressure on Da’esh. It is therefore necessary that the efforts of the Global Coalition against Da’esh be pursued both in terms of its military commitment and of civilian component in support of the implementation of a pluralistic and inclusive political solution in Syria and Iraq. Clearly, that is the only lasting response to prevent the re-emergence of Da’esh in other forms. With that in mind, the Foreign Ministers of the Global Coalition reaffirmed their commitment in unison on 6 February in Washington, D.C. Similarly, accepting impunity for the crimes committed by Da’esh is not an option. We have the political, legal and moral responsibility to ensure that those responsible are prosecuted and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.
Justice meted out with respect for human rights and the rule of law is also essential to peace and reconciliation. It requires the strengthening of judicial systems and sound international judicial cooperation. France particularly welcomes the contribution of the team created by the Council — the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes committed by Da’esh/Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant — which is intended to help gather evidence to prosecute those responsible for crimes committed by Da’esh in Iraq. In addition, our efforts must continue to focus on three priority areas for action, which are clearly set out in the Secretary-General’s report.
Our first priority is the fight against terrorist financing, which is a top priority for France. During the Arria Formula meeting, which we organized with other partners on 31 January, we noted that there are still many challenges to be met in order to adapt our response to the threats posed. Sharing information, combating anonymous transactions, identifying the sources of financing, anticipating the misuse of new financial instruments, making a collective commitment not only to vulnerable countries but also to failing countries, and international sanctions are all priorities on which we must make progress. That is why, after inviting the international community to Paris last year for the No Money For Terror conference and after consulting with the relevant actors, France has decided to submit a draft resolution on the subject with a view to adopting it in the coming weeks. We will work closely with Council members and look forward to everyone’s commitment and support.
Our second priority is managing the return of foreign terrorist fighters. Faced with that challenge, we must continue to strengthen measures to detect, treat and monitor people at risk, including through constant information-sharing. Given the variety of profiles concerned, close coordination among civil, military and financial intelligence services and agencies, as well as among judicial authorities, is essential to strengthening the interaction between intelligence action and the criminal justice response. The involvement of the education, social services and justice sectors is essential to helping the families concerned. France’s national strategy places particular emphasis on providing care specifically for children, in particular at the sociopsychological and educational levels, to promote their reintegration.
Our third priority is preventing the use of the Internet by terrorist groups. France intends to continue to play a leading role in that fight. Considerable progress has been made and Internet companies are mobilizing. However, much remains to be done and we will pursue our efforts, in particular in the European context, to more effectively prevent the spread of terrorist propaganda that fuels radicalization and to support the development of positive counter-narratives. Combating the financing of terrorism is also a priority for us in other forums, in particular within the framework of the European Union and of our presidency of the Group of Seven this year.
The United Nations has an increasingly vital, unifying and recognized role to play in each of those areas. We thank the Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT0 and the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) for the outstanding work they do every day. We also rely on UNOCT and CTED to continue to address, as their respective mandates provide, more cross-cutting issues, such as respect for and the promotion of human rights or the integration of the gender dimension in the fight against terrorism.
You may rest assured, Sir, of France’s full support to United Nations entities in their efforts to identify needs and the best ways to meet them and to promote coordination among all relevant actors. Considerable progress has been made on these various issues and it is vital that it continue.