Remarks Following Security Council Vote to Adopt Sanctions on ISIL and Al-Qaida

Ambassador Michele J. Sison
U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations
U.S. Mission to the United Nations
New York City
July 20, 2017


Thank you, Mr. President.

With today’s vote, this Security Council is taking another important step to help defeat ISIS and Al-Qaida. Thank you to the co-sponsors of the resolution for your support.

For the United States, there is no higher priority. That is why we are leading a 72-member Coalition that is making great strides to liberate territory from the grip of ISIS.

The United States has supported the Iraqi government to push ISIS out of Mosul. ISIS’ last strongholds in Syria are coming under intense pressure.

But even as ISIS is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, the threat is far from over. ISIS will continue looking to spread its ideology and radicalize new groups around the world. They will create new offshoots in new places. Fighters that trained with ISIS in Syria are now starting to return home.

The Security Council needs to show that it can adapt with these changing threats. That is the goal of today’s resolution.

The provisions recognize the need to focus not just on ISIS, but also on its affiliates, wherever they may appear.

We also redoubled our commitment to enforcing these measures – the resolution urges more international cooperation to cut off terrorist funding, prevent the travel of terrorists, and stop these groups from acquiring arms.

And to help make sure these sanctions are being implemented fully and fairly, we reaffirmed our support for the 1267 Monitoring Team and its Ombudsperson.

As another important step, today the Security Council added in this resolution eight new individuals and entities to the 1267 sanctions list.

This includes ISIS leaders in Southeast Asia, foreign fighters from the Caucuses, illicit money exchange businesses, and ISIS-affiliated terrorist groups in Syria. And there will be more designations to come.

To make the best use of this tool, the Security Council must regularly add more names to the sanctions list of any new ISIS- or Al-Qaida-affiliated individual or group, wherever they are in the world.

Implementing these sanctions is essential, yet it’s only one part of a broader strategy to defeat ISIS and the violent extremist ideology that feeds it.

All member states of the United Nations must work together to prevent groups from declaring allegiance to ISIS and becoming one of its affiliates.

We must mobilize action to address ex-ISIS fighters who return or relocate to other countries – we can’t allow them to become a new threat elsewhere.

And we must do more – especially here at the UN – to help countries prevent and counter violent extremism before it takes root. To do so, it’s essential we build strong partnerships with civil society, faith leaders, youth, and local communities.

ISIS and similar groups threaten not just our security, but our values,

like tolerance, human dignity, and freedom. For this reason, in every region of the world, and people of all faiths, have come together to condemn terrorism.

The United States will continue to lead this effort. Today’s unanimous vote reinforces this global resolve to defeat terrorism wherever it is found.

Thank you, Mr. President.