Terrorism is the center of attention in the media and has become more relevant in the political arena. People look to their representatives for action as they witness terrorist acts on CNN and the discussions have become more heated. Many nations have come together to combat this “insane thrill in the name of religion” and along with international bodies like the United Nations are resolved to counter it. Since 1970’s casualties following militant attacks have escalated.
Currently, the group that garners most of our attention is the Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The Islamic State is designated as more than just a terrorist group. It is comprised of well trained militants who believe in a combined Islamic state under a caliphate.
The role of United Nations
Many people believe the United Nations is a ‘toothless’ discussion forum. However, the United Nations has “eighteen universal instruments against international terrorism that have been elaborated within the framework of the United Nations system relating to specific terrorist activities” as stated on their website relating to counterterrorism. The UN has established a Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) which was established immediately after 9/11. This committee works with the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) to assist member states to “prevent terrorist acts both within their borders and across regions.” They work with other international organizations in the fight against terrorism, and “they encourage countries to apply known best practices, codes and standards, taking into account their own circumstances and needs.”
On August 15th 2014, the United Nations approved sanctions on the militants in Syria and Iraq and the United Nations also declared sanctions on groups or organizations that provide any financial assistance to militants in the region. The sanctions comprised of asset freeze, arms embargo and travel bans. This resolution was proposed by the United Kingdom. The UN has condemned all the attacks by Islamists and urged the Islamic State to immediately stop these attacks. The United Nations has also urged other member nations to prevent its citizens from joining and supporting IS. It has also advised member nations to prosecute anyone found guilty of supporting the group.
On September 4th, the United States called for an emergency Security Council meeting to deal with the threat of emerging foreign terrorists. Before the discussion of key issues on the Security Council agenda, the meeting began with a briefing on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria along with the latest updates on the Islamists movements. The discussion was followed by a “humanitarian update on the refugees and their status.” As expected all the UN member states have assumed an anti-terrorism front.
It is imperative that the international community deals with this issue in a concerted fashion. Like a cancer, it is spreading within nations and across borders. Many Middle East nations are already struggling in their effort to confront terrorism. Thus, it is the appropriate moment to declare an all out assault on terrorism. It is the responsibility of every nation in the world to combat this issue, not just for the sake of their own security.