UN Security Council adopts landmark resolution on suppressing funding of terrorist groups

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NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2018/09/26: Various delegates seen at the United Nations Security Council in New York City. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: Various delegates seen at the United Nations Security Council in New York City. (Photo by Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The United Nations Security Council took a step toward suppressing the funding of terrorist groups worldwide. In a resolution adopted Thursday,  the UN moved to play a leading role in identifying ways to block terrorist access to money.

Resolution 2462 also consolidates previous resolutions and covers a number of key emerging issues.

The new resolution urges countries to do more to stop ransom payments to terrorists. The UN says agreeing to ransom payments only gives terrorist groups more reason to use kidnapping as a revenue stream.

The UN’s counter-terrorism chief, Vladimir Voronkov, highlighted three priorities for the organization. First, he wants to expand the focus of the UN to cover intelligence sharing, risk assessments and public-private partnerships.  He wants system-wide awareness-raising and the development of a comprehensive approach to fighting terrorism financing.  Voronkov’s final priority is to work closely with the Financial Action Task Force, a body which sets standards for dealing with threats to the integrity of the international finance system.

Marshall Billingslea, the president of the Financial Action Task Force, says about 66% of countries are not effectively prosecuting terrorist financing that extends beyond the banking and financing sectors.

The UN resolution comes following confirmation that Austria’s far-right Identitarian Movement received cash from the suspect in the mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern labelled the shootings a terrorist attack.

Somalia, bedeviled by terrorist activity, is reeling from a recent string of attacks in the capital, Mogadishu. At least 30 people, including the country’s deputy labour minister, died and dozens more were injured in two separate attacks in the past week.

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