Australia to keep UN focus on terrorism

The terrorist threat posed by Islamic State foreign fighters will be the focus of Australia’s upcoming United Nations Security Council presidency.


Australia will assume the rotating presidency in November for the second time since taking up its temporary UNSC seat at the beginning of 2013.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says Australia will do all it can to keep the UN’s focus on counter-terrorism efforts.

That will include convening a special meeting to assess the world’s progress in dismantling IS and cracking down on foreign fighters.

“It’s not the only matter we’ll be discussing but it will be a feature of the November presidency,” Ms Bishop told reporters in New York on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will throw his support behind a US plan to combat foreign fighters when he attends a special UNSC meeting in New York on Wednesday.

Ms Bishop was speaking after attending a counter-terrorism forum with other foreign ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

A key focus of the forum was putting an end to ransom payments to secure the release of IS hostages.

Ms Bishop says ransoms – reportedly paid by a number of European nations in recent months – are undermining international efforts to cut off IS funding.

“This practice must cease for it is degrading our efforts to attack the terrorist organisations at their heart,” she said.

“All it does is exacerbate the problem. It’s funding the terrorist organisations.

“What we have to do is starve these organisations of funds and resources and foreign fighters.”

Ms Bishop leaves New York later on Tuesday. Mr Abbott arrives early on Wednesday morning.

Posted by at 26/05/2019
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