Isolated over Iran, U.S. vetoes UN resolution on foreign terrorists

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By Harrison Arubu/New York

The United States on Monday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution on the prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration of foreign terrorist fighters.

U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Kelly Craft, said in a statement that the action was necessitated by the failure of the draft to address repatriation.

Craft said the draft “was worse than no resolution at all” since it did not include repatriation of foreign fighters to their countries of origin or nationality.

The remaining 14 council members voted in favour of the Indonesian-sponsored resolution, thus further isolating the U.S.

Craft said: “It (draft) fails to even include reference to the crucial first step – repatriation to countries of origin or nationality.

“The United States will not participate in such a cynical and willfully oblivious farce.

“The United States provides the example here, bringing back our citizens and prosecuting them where appropriate.

“All nations need to take responsibility for their citizens who engage in terror,” she said.

Washington wants terrorist arrested in foreign lands sent home for prosecution or rehabilitation.

But European countries are reluctant to try their nationals at home, citing difficulty in collecting evidence among other concerns, according to Reuters.

The news agency quoted a spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign Office as saying their country regretted the failure of the resolution.

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“We are working closely with international partners to reduce the risk posed to us collectively by foreign fighters,” the unidentified official said.

The U.S. has been at odds with other council members, including its European allies since Aug. 15.

On that day, the Council rejected Washington’s proposal seeking indefinite extension of an arms embargo on Iran.

Last week, Indonesia, which served as the Council’s president for August, dismissed U.S. attempt to restore all suspended U.N. sanctions on Iran.

Permanent Representative of Indonesia, Amb. Dian Dhabi, said the decision was based on the opposition of the council’s 13 members to the move.

What the draft hopes to achieve:

By the draft, the Council would have re-emphasized that women associated with foreign terrorist fighters returning or relocating to and from conflict may have served in many different roles, including as supporters, facilitators or perpetrators of terrorist acts and therefore may require special focus when developing tailored prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration measures.

The Council would have also asked for such measures to include long-term methods to counter violent extremism conducive to terrorism, and incitement to commit terrorist acts.

The Council would have recognized the significant challenge of radicalization to terrorism and terrorist recruitment in prisons and acknowledge the need to prevent these facilities from serving as potential incubators for radicalization to terrorism and terrorist recruitment, as well as ensure that prisons can serve to rehabilitate and reintegrate prisoners.

Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as set out in a letter by its president for March, which was China.


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