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US Will Seek UN Resolution on Foreign Fighters

FILE - United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
FILE - United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power
Margaret Besheer

The United States will seek a Security Council resolution on countering the threat of foreign terrorist fighters, including the Islamic State, during a high level U.N. meeting later this month.  

This week, the United States took over the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council for September.  The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, told reporters Wednesday that a focal point of the U.S. presidency would be a summit in the council on what she called the “growing and dangerous phenomenon” of foreign terrorist fighters.

“We are seeing a surge in terrorists traveling from around the globe specifically to fight in foreign conflicts. These fighters participate in brutal atrocities in the countries they travel to and often return home radicalized by their experiences,” she said.
 
The meeting, which will be chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama, will be held September 25, on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly's annual debate, which draws leaders from around the world.  U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also expected to participate.
 
Power said the U.S. would seek a resolution including measures to curb the flow of fighters into foreign war zones and improve information and intelligence sharing among countries. 

She said Washington hoped to negotiate a tough resolution that would strengthen international norms and pave the way for governments to do more about the threat from foreign terrorist fighters, like those in the Islamic State - or ISIL as it is also known - who have been terrorizing civilians in Syria and Iraq.

“What we are focused on now, though, is the recognition that any campaign against ISIL is going to have to be comprehensive, not simply military, but also is going to have to involve stakeholders from around the world.  And it will not suffice if it is the United States and just the few partners who have stepped up at this point dealing with this threat; we need all hands on deck,” she said.
 
Power said any resolution would still require substantial work by the international community to successfully implement it, saying countering violent extremism is a hugely challenging long-term endeavor. 

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