UN Security Council gives its go-ahead to the resolution that strengthens sanctions against those who do business with the Caliphate. The document, which has been devised jointly by the United States and Russia and is co-sponsored by Italy, aims at striking Daesh’s finances. As it was stressed by the United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, “terrorists continue to diversify their sources of livelihood, to the point that, at present, the group has built a multimillionaire empire”. In the 28-page-long text, the Member States are invited to report what measures are being implemented in order to prevent terrorist organizations from accumulating money, aiming at preclude the groups from using international banks, and UN monitoring efforts are reinforced.
The text falls under the umbrella of Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. The latter allows, in ultima ratio, to use force, and is defined by the diplomats of the glass palace as an important form of cooperation between the United States and Russia, which might become the first step towards stronger cooperation also on the Syrian crisis. Although Assad’s role, Moscow’s and Washington’s positions are still distant from one another. “Every individual, group, company or entity that provides support to Isis or al Qaida – the resolution recites -, is subject to restrictive measures imposed by the United Nations, including asset freezing, travel ban, and arms embargo”. The document will strengthen sanctions which have been in force for over a dozen years now and have been often trampled on. It also expands measures which have been already arranged for al Qaida and the Islamic state. Besides, it expresses its “growing concern” precisely for the lack of implementation of some of these measures and calls on all countries “to act with force and firmness in order to cut the money flows and the economic resources of the groups on the list of sanctions”.
Member States are urged to share information in their possess about the extremist groups. They are also asked to produce a report within 120 days on the measures they will have implemented, while Ban will have to provide an initial strategic report within 45 days and updates every four months. According to US secretary of the Treasury, Jacob Lew, who chaired the meeting at the Security Council, “cutting the flows of financing to Isis prevents the jihadists from having the necessary money to organize attacks”. “The impact is real and makes it more difficult for the terrorists to move and obtain funds”, Lew continued. This happens despite the fact that most of the Caliphate’s funding comes from internal sources which are difficult to destroy, such as revenues from oil and gas, or kidnapping for the purpose of extortion. “To succeed – Lew concluded – we must increase our efforts”.