Lithuanian foreign minister to preside over UN Security Council meeting on extremist fighters

Linas Linkevičius
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The event will end a month of the Lithuanian presidency of the UN Security Council. The meeting should pass a document titled as the presidential statement.

“We in Lithuania may not feel it very well but foreign fighters, terrorists and groups are not getting any weaker, they get weapons and monetary support, they are very active in some hot regions. This is the focus of world politics. The world’s largest countries and the United States are particularly concerned,” Linkevičius told BNS on the eve of the meeting.

“We expect to pass the presidential statement. It is not a resolution but also a very important document,” the minister added.

The UN Security Council held its last meeting on measures of curbing foreign fighters last September, it was then headed by US President Barack Obama.

In Linkevičius’ words, the Friday’s event will aim to “see what we did over the period.”

The Friday’s statement should urge member-states to criminalize recruitment of foreign fighters and their joining of extremist groups, authorize airlines to provide information about passengers, ensure better protection of state borders and exchange information more actively.

The Security Council also intends to call for more attention to education and social media campaigns against recruitment of extremists. Some of the measures were stipulated in the last year’s resolution.

Among participants of the meeting will be a number of top-ranking Security Council officials, including US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Diplomats say more than 25,000 fighters from over 100 countries have already joined groups related to Al Qaeda.

Lithuania has been elected as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2014 and 2015. The institution includes 15 countries, including five – the US, China, Russia, Great Britain and France – enjoying a veto right. The Security Council is the only body that can sanction force by international law.

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