Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov at the UN Security Council regarding threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, New York, 24 September 2014
Ladies and gentlemen,
Terrorism has been growing stronger ideologically and financially and expanding through a connection with transnational organised crime, support from the drug business, seized oil deposits and extremist ideas, including ideas on religious and ethnic grounds. Terrorism is becoming an indivisible part of regional conflicts.
ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), the ANF (the Al-Nusrah Front) and other terrorist cells have long been growing in the Middle East. They have acquired additional opportunities for their criminal activity due to the weakening, including with foreign assistance, of state institutions and the support of various foreign sponsors. Having grown stronger, extremist groups are threatening the future of whole nations, as evidenced by the example of Iraq, Libya and Syria. The next targets are Lebanon, Yemen, Mali and the Central African Republic.
Russia has consistently advocated closer international cooperation to cut short all kinds of terrorism and to renounce dual standards and the division of terrorists into “good” and “bad.” All states must faithfully implement the decisions of the UN Security Council that provide for preventing the instigation of terrorism and blocking illegal oil trade, approve sanctions against the Taliban and al-Qaeda and impose an arms embargo on Libya. Russia has supported Resolution 2170, which aims to strengthen the sanctions regime against terrorists in Syria and Iraq. These documents are evidence of the ability of the UN Security Council to agree on issues of fundamental importance and to take coordinated decisions based on the UN Charter.
The intervention of Iraq, the bombing of Libya and foreign support for extremists in Syria have aggravated the issue of foreign militants fighting in the terrorist organisations in many countries of the Middle East, Africa and the Afghan-Pakistani border regions. We need a comprehensive approach that will include the financial, institutional, social and ideological elements of this problem and will ensure respect for the sovereignty of all states. Russia supported the initiative of the US presidency of the UN Security Council for adopting a resolution to pull the plug on the operation of foreign terrorist militants.
At the same time, we would like to warn against the temptation to restrict the issue, because the Islamic State with its inhuman ideology and disgusting executions of journalists is far from the only threat in the region.
We need to launch a comprehensive analysis of the issue of terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa in all its dimensions. We propose convening a representative UN-sponsored forum of all countries in the region, the African Union, the Arab League, the permanent UN Security Council members and other concerned parties. The agenda of this forum should also include older conflicts, the largest of which is the Arab-Israeli conflict. It is widely believed that the failure to settle the Palestinian issue over the past decades is one of the main reasons why terrorists continue to receive “moral support” and recruit new members.
Russia is urging you to look at the deep roots of regional problems rather than deal only with their symptoms. We are willing to cooperate on an equal basis, starting with an honest cooperative analysis to identify the reasons behind the problems and to find a way out of this chaos.