In a vote presided over by President Obama, the U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at stopping the flow of foreign extremists to battlefields around the world.
Resolution 2178, which criminalizes traveling abroad to fight for extremist organizations as well as the recruiting for or funding of such groups, was adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. According to Reuters: “It generally targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world. It does not mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue.”
The U.N. resolution expresses concern that “foreign terrorist fighters increase the intensity, duration and intractability of conflicts, and also may pose a serious threat to their states of origin, the states they transit, and the states to which they travel.”
Obama, who was the first U.S. president to chair a Security Council meeting in 2009, thanked members for approving the historic measure, but warned that “a resolution alone will not be enough.” The vote follows an address by the president in which he warned that inaction on extremism and other global threats could pull the world into “an undertow of instability.”
“The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action,” Obama said.
The president said 15,000 fighters from 80 nations were thought to have traveled to Syria since the conflict there began.
Reuters says: “The resolution is under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, which makes it legally binding for the 193 U.N. member states and gives the Security Council authority to enforce decisions with economic sanctions or force.”