Adopting resolution Security Council urges fight against nexus of transnational crime terrorism

In today’s unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-member Council said it is “gravely concerned” by the financing obtained by terrorist groups through illicit activities – such as the trafficking of drugs, people, arms and artefacts – and reaffirmed the international community’s need to supress the monetary lifeline which keeps the terrorist threats active. Delivering his remarks to the Council, Jeffrey Feltman, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, said that the world had been reminded yet again this week “why we must not tire in our efforts to counter terrorism, following the despicable attack on a school in Pakistan by the Taliban.”He emphasized that the need for urgent action to address terrorism and its transnational linkages is regrettably well illustrated, for example by the intensification of Boko Haram activities across the Lake Chad Basin region of Central Africa. In the Secretary-General’s recent visits to Africa, he was constantly reminded that terrorism and cross-border crime cannot be addressed separately, Mr. Feltman told the Council.“Efforts to combat terrorism will not bear fruit unless we combine law enforcement actions with measures to strengthen good governance, rule of law and human rights,” he said, stressing that “we will not uproot the ideologies that lead to violence if we do not win over hearts and minds.”Also addressing the Council, Ambassador Tete Antonio, the representative of the African Union to the UN, acknowledged that cross-border criminal activities in Africa contributed to the onset of conflicts and further complicated management and resolution efforts. Vast swathes of ungoverned territory – in northern Mali and across the Sahel belt as well as in Central Africa and in Somalia – provide criminal and terrorist groups with a “deadly convergence” point where they could thrive undisturbed. In the Sahel – a vast expanse of territory stretching from Mauritania to Eritrea, including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sudan – the Ambassador explained that drug and arms trafficking, human smuggling, kidnapping-for-ransom, and illicit proliferation of arms and money laundering had become “intimately intertwined” with the financing of terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In addition, he said, kidnapping-for-ransom in the Sahel had become “an integral financing model” for the spread of terrorist activities in Africa and globally. At the same time, a limited government presence in northern Mali had spawned an environment conducive for cross-border trafficking whereas in Central Africa, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a known militant group accused of numerous human rights violations, fuelled its operations through the poaching of elephants and illegal trade in ivory. “The African Union has not remained idle in the face of these threats,” Mr. Antonio told the delegates. Nonetheless, he remarked, greater efforts should be made to encourage collaboration between neighbouring states sharing such threats along their borders and strengthen early warning mechanisms to clamp down on any potential situations of conflict that could be exploited by terrorist groups. Recognizing the nexus of criminal and terrorist activities, the new Security Council resolution stressed the need for Member States “to work collectively to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations” and called upon the international community to strengthen border management. The text also stressed the importance of strengthening trans-regional and international cooperation on a basis of “a common and shared responsibility to counter the world drug problem and related criminal activities,” adding its encouragement for Member States to block and prevent terrorist groups from benefitting from transnational organized crime. “The porous African borders have long served to bring communities together, facilitate trade, and have contributed to the prosperity and the enriching diversity of our people. But porous need not translate into threats and risks of crime and terrorism,” Mr. Antonio continued.“There is therefore a need for innovative, collaborative and inclusive approaches that are led by the concerned states, based on confidence and transparency among them, and without hindrances nor restrictions on legal cross-border flows of people and trade.” read more

Read More »

Africas Lake Chad Basin Over 21 billion pledged to provide comprehensive crisis

Achim Steiner, the Administrator for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said that the promised funds amounted to a “strong endorsement” of the Organization’s work, to address both urgent humanitarian needs and the root causes of the crisis.“In this way, our response to a crisis is also an opportunity to invest in a future where crises are less likely and nations are more resilient,” he said.The two day High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region, was organized in Berlin, by UNDP and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), together with the governments of Germany, Norway and Nigeria.It brought together more than 70 countries, regional organizations, international financial institutions and humanitarian organizations to discuss immediate relief needs, crisis prevention and stabilization, as well as development, to chart a way forward for a comprehensive and inclusive response.In this way, our response to a crisis is also an opportunity to invest in a future where crises are less likely and nations are more resilient – Achim Steiner, UNDP AdministratorAccording to OCHA, the conference also provided an “excellent opportunity” for in-depth deliberations on issues emerging from last February’s Oslo humanitarian conference on the region, that raised some $650 million in pledges for humanitarian programmes in 2017 and beyond.“Participants agreed that a coherent, multi-year approach is needed, that integrates all available instruments to tackle the protection crisis and the root causes of the conflict,” said the organizers in a news release.“This is needed to pave the way for sustainable and resilient development of the region, and thus contribute to a better future for the affected people.”The conference also highlighted the regional dimension of the Lake Chad crisis, and the crucial role of local actors, cross-border cooperation and ownership at all levels.More than 17 million people across the four Lake Chad Basin countries – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – remain mired in a complex crisis driven by extreme poverty, climate change and violent conflict.As a result, more than 2.4 million are displaced and over 10 million people need more assistance to meet their basic protection and humanitarian needs. read more

Read More »