Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis
Acting Alternate Representative for Special Political Affairs
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York, New York
February 10, 2021
Thank you, Mr. President. Under-Secretary-General Voronkov and Assistant-Secretary-General Coninsx, thank you for your briefings, and thank you to the 1267 Monitoring Team for your effort on this report.
Under President Biden, the United States is committed to working with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to ensure this terrorist group is defeated on a lasting and comprehensive basis.
ISIS remains a serious threat. The group exploits instability in Iraq and Syria, demonstrates intent to execute attacks abroad, and continues to inspire terrorist attacks from sub-Saharan Africa to the Asia-Pacific theater. Preventing an ISIS resurgence in Iraq and Syria, as well as by its affiliates and networks beyond the Middle East, remains a priority of the U.S. government along with our partners and allies in the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
Since the fall of the physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria, the threat posed by ISIS and its affiliates has continued to evolve, and as an international community we must continually adapt our understanding of the threat, and our efforts to combat it.
The Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS remains focused on eradicating ISIS through four main, non-military lines of effort: counter financing; counter messaging; detention, repatriation, and accountability for crimes and abuses of foreign terrorist fighters; and stabilization of areas liberated from ISIS.
We continue to monitor the alarming situation of tens of thousands of suspected foreign terrorist fighters remaining in conflict zones. We watch with concern as women and children languish in camps in dire conditions with little access to education, increasing the potential for their radicalization. The global threat from ISIS will grow if the international community does not repatriate their citizens. We encourage the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate, CTED, and the 1267 Monitoring Team to closely monitor this threat and to continue to guide the UN Office of Counterterrorism’s prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration initiative.
Beyond being the best option from a security standpoint, repatriation is also simply the right thing to do. It is estimated that 90 percent of children in the camps are under 12 and 50 percent under five. They have limited access to food, medical care, clean water, and other basic services. Education is almost nonexistent. They cannot possibly live up to their potential under these conditions.
Beyond conflict zones, there is a surge in the threat posed by ISIS affiliates around the world, especially on the African continent. It is alarming, but not unexpected, to see these affiliates across Africa working together. This poses a danger to us all.
We look forward to working with our partners in the 1267 Committee to continue tackling this changing threat. The Committee has already designated six ISIS affiliates operating in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and East Asia. We hope to see further affiliates, including more African affiliates, designated in the coming months.
While the world rallies to respond to the serious challenges posed by COVID-19, terrorists are exploiting the pandemic to disseminate disinformation to garner support for their causes and advance their agendas. Terror groups like ISIS are adapting their messages to undermine confidence in government, threaten legitimate governance, and provoke violence.
We must continue to work together to fight against these threats and defeat ISIS, and its affiliates, once and for all.
Thank you, Mr. President.