United Nations: The UN Security Council today unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at cutting off financial support to Islamic State and other Al-Qaeda-linked terror outfits through illicit activities like raising funds through oil smuggling, trading in antiquities and kidnapping for ransom.
The 15-nation Council adopted the Russian-drafted resolution, which provides for a range of tools, including sanctions and other binding measures, to degrade the terrorist organisations' ability to carry out brutal attacks.
Responding to the threat posed by the Islamic State, the resolution focuses extensively on terrorist financial support networks, particularly IS' raising of funds through oil smuggling, looting of antiquities, kidnapping for ransom and other illicit activities.
The resolution was co-sponsored by more than 35 countries, which, however, did not include India.
The resolution condemns any direct and indirect trade, in particular of oil and oil products, with IS, Al Nusra Front (ANF) and other Al-Qaeda-linked groups and threatens to impose sanctions on those who engage in any such trade with the terror groups, including those involved in the oil trade with IS.
It emphasised that all states must freeze all assets of the terror groups as well as those of their agents including their oil, oil products, modular refineries, and related material.
It calls on states to cooperate in stopping illicit oil trafficking benefiting IS, ANF, and Al-Qaeda-related groups by sharing information on smuggling routes and providing capacity building assistance to counter smuggling.
It also expressed concern that vehicles going to and coming from IS and ANF-controlled areas of Syria and Iraq could be carrying assets -- including oil, refined products, modular refineries, precious metals and minerals, grain, livestock, machinery, electronics, and cigarettes -- for sale or barter to or by those terrorist groups and encouraged states to step up their efforts to prevent and disrupt such activity.
The resolution condemned the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, including targeted destruction of religious sites and objects and reaffirms an existing ban on the illicit trade of antiquities from Iraq. In addition, it also imposed a new ban on the illicit trade of antiquities from Syria. .
The resolution reaffirms previous calls on states to prevent terrorists from benefiting from ransom payments or from political concessions as well as that UN sanctions prohibit ransom payments to UN-listed groups including IS and ANF.
Expressing grave concern about continued reports of donations to IS and ANF, the resolution urges member states to encourage their financial institutions to prevent these terrorist groups from accessing the international financial system.
It also reaffirmed existing UN sanctions that require states not to supply IS, ANF, and Al-Qaeda-related groups with arms and calls upon all states to consider measures to prevent the proliferation of all arms, in particular man-portable surface-to-air missiles if there is suspicion that the terror groups would obtain such items.