UN Security Council OKs resolution to fight extremism | News | DW | 24.09.2014
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UN Security Council OKs resolution to fight extremism

In an effort to curb the rise of extremism, the UN Security Council has voted unanimously to work together. Member states must now impose restrictions that "prevent and suppress" groups such as the "Islamic State."

"This is only the sixth time the Security Council has met at level like this," US President Barack Obama told the 15-member body on Wednesday in a special session.

Just minutes before, the members had passed a binding resolution in a unanimous vote. The 193 nations of the UN are now obligated to hinder the spread of extremism, a decision prompted by the sudden emergence of "Islamic State" (IS) fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Roughly 15,000 foreign fighters originating from 80 nations are believed to have traveled to Syria in recent years, according to the US president.

Calling it a "historic decision," Obama reminded Security Council representatives that legal action - including banning the recruitment of foreign fighters and preventing extremists from traveling abroad to fight alongside terrorist groups - was only the first step.

"[The] resolution will not be enough. Promises on paper cannot keep us safe. Lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not stop a single terrorist attack. The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action, into deeds ... for years to come," he said.

The US president had addressed the UN General Assembly earlier in the day, where he, along with other foreign leaders appealed for the international community to combat IS and allied militants before it was too late.

Cameron: 'No easy answers'

The United Kingdom's prime minister, David Cameron, also addressed the Council on Wednesday, showing strong support for the resolution.

"We must defeat the poisonous ideology of extremism," he said, emphasizing that the UN countries must "use all of the weapons at our disposal."

In addition to reinforcing counterterrorist efforts, officials must identify and uproot sources of hatred, which were just as insidious as blatant support for violence, he said, the propogation of conspiracy theories regarding terrorist attacks on the West being just one example.

"There are no easy answers or quick fixes," Cameron said.

The UN Security Council decision complements similar laws by individual member states, including Germany, where the authorities have already begun taking action against IS. This week, the jihadist group sparked widespread concern when it called on its supporters to kill citizens from countries currently taking part in the US-led air campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria.

kms/mkg (AP, Reuters)

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