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UN backs strong laws against foreign extremist fighters

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 01:48

President Barack Obama says the challenge of preventing foreign fighters from traveling ''cannot be met by one nation alone'' after the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to prevent fighters from traveling abroad. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The U.N. Security Council demanded on Wednesday (September 24) that all states make it a serious criminal offense for their citizens to travel abroad to fight with militant groups, or to recruit and fund others to do so, in a move sparked by the rise of Islamic State. At a meeting chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, the 15-member council unanimously adopted a U.S.-drafted resolution that compels countries to "prevent and suppress" the recruitment and travel of militant fighters to foreign conflicts. "If there was ever a challenge in our inner-connected world that cannot be met by one nation alone, it is this -- terrorists crossing borders and threatening to unleash unspeakable violence," Obama said. "These terrorists believe we will be unable to stop them. The safety of our citizens demand that we do." The U.N. action was prompted by the rise of Islamic State and al Qaeda's Syrian wing, Nusra Front. Some 12,000 fighters from more than 70 nations have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight with extremist groups, experts say. The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes it legally binding for the 193 U.N. member states and gives the Security Council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force. It generally targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world. It does not mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue. Obama is building a global coalition to combat Islamic State, which has captured swaths of Syria and Iraq and urged followers to attack citizens of various countries. The United States has led airstrikes against the group in Iraq and Syria. Obama told the U.N. General Assembly earlier on Wednesday that the Security Council resolution would underscore the responsibility of states to counter violent extremism. The U.N. resolution expresses concern that "foreign terrorist fighters increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts, and also may pose a serious threat to their states of origin, the states they transit and the states to which they travel." Obama chaired the Security Council because the United States is president of the body for September.

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UN backs strong laws against foreign extremist fighters

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 01:48