What is the Security Council?
The UN Charter established six main organs of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It gives primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security to the Security Council, which may meet whenever peace is threatened.
According to the Charter, the United Nations has four purposes:
- to maintain international peace and security;
- to develop friendly relations among nations;
- to cooperate in solving international problems and in promoting respect for human rights;
- and to be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations.
All members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council. While other organs of the United Nations make recommendations to member states, only the Security Council has the power to make decisions that member states are then obligated to implement under the Charter.
Maintaining Peace and Security
When a complaint concerning a threat to peace is brought before it, the Council’s first action is usually to recommend that the parties try to reach agreement by peaceful means. The Council may:
- set forth principles for such an agreement;
- undertake investigation and mediation, in some cases;
- dispatch a mission;
- appoint special envoys; or
- request the Secretary-General to use his good offices to achieve a pacific settlement of the dispute.
For more: http://www.un.org/en/sc/about/.
“… our strategy to counter ISIL has been a whole-of-government approach, including military, diplomatic, intelligence, law enforcement, as well as financial efforts to address all aspects of this very dangerous threat.
One critical piece has been our work to cut off ISIL’s financing. That is going to be a focus, as Josh noted, of the U.N. Security Council meeting tomorrow, a historic meeting, where Secretary Lew will chair a meeting of finance ministers at the U.N. I believe it’s the first time in the history of the Security Council that finance ministers have sat in the chairs around the table.
The goal of the meeting is to bolster our international efforts to get at ISIL sources of revenue, to isolate them from the international financial system, and to counter-financing of terrorism more broadly, even beyond ISIL. So, first, I want to speak briefly about the work that’s ongoing to target ISIL’s financing both within the U.S. government and with our international partners, and then I want to turn to the resolution that we expect to be introduced tomorrow.
On our ISIL efforts, of course ISIL presents an extremely challenging financial target because of its ability to extract revenues from the territory that it controls. But ISIL’s need to control territory is also a vulnerability. ISIL requires large and steady streams of income to pay salaries, procure weapons, maintain infrastructure and a semblance of government. And ISIL needs access to the international financial system. They are not entirely self-reliant. They need to be able to move money, whether that’s with respect to importing oil infrastructure, oil pieces; whether it’s with respect to procuring weapons or communications equipment, or whether it’s with respect to moving money to their off-shore affiliates.
We’ve targeted both ISIL’s ability to generate funds and its ability to use and transfer funds through the international financial system. On the revenue side, the most important pieces, of course, are military — working with coalition partners to target the entire oil supply chain, from the oil fields and wellheads, to the refineries and processing plants, to the tanker trucks themselves. And we’ve all seen the impact that that’s been having over recent weeks.
Second, in terms of accessing the international financial system, we’ve been targeting, using our sanctions tool, to get at ISIL’s key financial facilitators and their leaders and companies. We’ve designated more than 30 of their senior leaders and financiers this year alone. We’re working through international forums, like the Counter-ISIL Finance Group, which is co-chaired by Saudi Arabia, Italy and the United States. It includes more than 30 jurisdictions worldwide, and it’s a platform for us to be sharing information, both targeted and more systemic, about ISIL’s revenue streams and flows, and then work together to collaborate to cut them off.
And we’re working, of course, very intensively with our regional partners. In Iraq, we saw the central government cut off over 90 bank branches that were in ISIL-controlled territory from the Central Bank, and therefore from access to any international financial platform. And we’ve also worked with the governments in Jordan, the governments in Turkey to intensify the scrutiny and the oversight of less formal financial channels, like money service businesses and exchange houses, which we believe ISIL is using to smuggle cash to and then place them in order to move the funds. All of this work will only intensify in the coming months.
Let me now turn to the upcoming U.N. Security Council meeting that, as I said, will take place in New York tomorrow. We expect that the Security Council will be adopting a new resolution to focus its longstanding al Qaeda sanctions regime equally on the threat posed by ISIL. As a word of background, the al Qaeda sanctions regime has been the principal U.N. sanctions tool to direct asset freezes against terror groups. And what we’ll be doing is elevating ISIL, putting it on that same level, and turning those tools and that same experience that we’ve built up internationally against ISIL.
The resolution will add a designation prong, making it a sanctionable offense as it were to associate with ISIL, and giving us more flexibility to go after those who are helping ISIL, whether to move funds, to store funds, or to earn funds. The resolution will also include a number of new broader measures to strengthen our international efforts against terror groups across the board. Specifically, we’ll be calling on all countries to fully criminalize the financing of terrorism and terrorist fighters for any purpose, even in the absence of a link to a specific terrorist act.
And further, we’re going to be calling on countries to expand and intensify information-sharing, both across governments, within governments, and with the private sector. That last piece may sound mundane, but I can tell you, having worked in the counterterrorist financing arena basically since 2002, that’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s about when banks see a suspicious transaction, are they flagging that for financial authorities. And if they are, and that system is working well, is that information then accessible to law enforcement, and can it married with travel data, can it be married with intelligence data so that we can have the best possible chance of disrupting the next attack.”
12/16/15 Adam Szubin – Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), White House Press Briefing.
President Obama has a strategy to defeat ISIL, fight terrorism, and protect the homeland
The President is pursuing a comprehensive strategy that draws on every aspect of American power. Here’s an up-to-date look at what we’re doing to combat the threat of terrorism abroad and here at home:
Relentlessly Pursuing ISIL’s Leadership and Shrinking ISIL’s Safehavens
Since the tragic terrorist attacks in Paris on November 13, the United States, along with our 65 partners in the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, have intensified our efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Here are some of the actions we’ve taken:
- Since the November 13 attacks in Paris a number of Coalition partners, including Belgium, Germany, Kuwait, Tunisia, made arrests to break up ISIL and ISIL-inspired terrorist cells
- Since November 17, Coalition airstrikes destroyed 283 ISIL oil tanker trucks, 120 ISIL oil storage tanks, and a significant amount of oil field infrastructure in eastern Syria.
- On November 17, Canada announced it would increase its trainers in northern Iraq.
- On December 2, the United States announced that, in full coordination and consultation with the government of Iraq, it plans to deploy an Expeditionary Targeting Force to assist Iraqi and Kurdish partners, including by launching raids against ISIL targets, gathering intelligence, and capturing ISIL leadership.
- On December 3, the United Kingdom began striking ISIL targets in Syria.
- On December 4, the German Parliament approved plans to commit up to 1,200 troops to the counter ISIL fight, including potentially deploying surveillance and tanker aircraft.
- Italy announced plans to increase its presence in Iraq to 750 trainers.
- France deployed aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the eastern Mediterranean to intensify strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, particularly around ar-Raqqah.
- The U.S. and Coalition partners have conducted a total of 8,863 strikes – 5,826 strikes in Iraq and 3,037 strikes in Syria.
- 31 Coalition airstrikes destroyed 75 ISIL targets across 11 locations in Syria and Iraq. The countries that have participated in the strikes include:
- In Iraq: (1) Australia, (2) Belgium, (3) Canada, (4) Denmark, (5) France, (6) Jordan, (7) The Netherlands, and (8) UK
- In Syria: (1) Australia, (2) Bahrain, (3) Canada, (4) France, (5) Jordan, (6) Saudi Arabia, (7) Turkey and (8) UAE
- 1/15/16 FACT SHEET: Maintaining Momentum in The Fight against ISIL
For more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/isil-strategy
- Bureau of Counterterrorism
- National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)
- Joint Terrorism Task Forces
- Central Intelligence Agency – The Office of Terrorism Analysis
- National Counterterrorism Center
- National Joint Terrorism Task Force
- Strategic Command Center (SIOC)
- Terrorism – FEMA.gov
- Preventing Terrorism | Homeland Security
- Public Internet Tip Line