Security Council Press Statement on the murder of James Foley
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the heinous and cowardly murder of James Foley, an American journalist, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This incident is a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists face every day in Syria. It also once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the family of the victim, to the Government of the United States of America, as well as to the families of all victims of ISIL.
The members of the Security Council stressed that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out. The members of the Council further emphasized that there has to be a common effort amongst governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, as the Council resolved in UN Security Council Resolution 2170.
The members of the Security Council recalled that, in accordance with international humanitarian law, journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict are generally considered as civilians and shall be respected and protected as such. The members of the Security Council recalled their demand that all parties to an armed conflict comply fully with the obligations applicable to them under international humanitarian law, including as related to the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
The members of the Security Council demanded the immediate, safe and unconditional release of all those who are kept hostage by ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to bring perpetrators of these reprehensible acts of terrorism to justice. The members of the Security Council stressed that those responsible for the killing of James Foley shall be held accountable, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the United States and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the need to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed.