Fight against terrorism/Ministerial Meeting of the Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh
1. The Small Group of the Global Coalition to counter Daesh met today in Paris at the invitation of French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, for in-depth discussions on the situation in Iraq and Syria, Coalition operations, the stabilization of liberated areas, the safe and enduring return of refugees and displaced persons, notably victims of ethnic and religious violence, and the protection of cultural heritage.
2. The meeting was co-chaired by French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Laurent Fabius, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and US Secretary of State John Kerry – remotely from the US and represented in Paris by Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Twenty-four delegations took part in the meeting (Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, EU, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the UAE, the UK, the UN (as observer), the US).
3. Daesh offensives in Ramadi, Iraq, and Palmyra, Syria, highlight the urgency to renew and expand our collective endeavour to defeat Daesh. Coalition partners reaffirmed their strong unity and their commitment to work together under a common, multifaceted, and long term strategy to degrade and ultimately defeat Daesh, a threat to the entire international community. They reiterated the global condemnation of
Daesh’s sectarian strategy of murder and destruction, of its atrocities and crimes, some of which may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity, and of its deliberate destruction of humanity’s common heritage. They paid tribute to the victims of Daesh violence, in particular in Iraq and Syria, and to the members of the security forces of Iraq who are fighting on the frontline against the terrorists, and acknowledged the commitment of the international personnel of the Coalition assisting them with equipment, training, and air support. They stressed their continued resolve to remove Daesh from the regions in which it established itself in Iraq and Syria, and commended the dedication and actions of the Coalition’s working groups to this end.
4. Coalition members reiterated the critical importance of pushing forward rapidly reforms and reconciliation under the Iraqi government’s national programme, including the development of a national guard force to bring all armed groups under state control, and the urgent need to find a political solution to the Syrian conflict to address the root causes of Daesh expansion. They also stressed the need to sustainably defeat Daesh beyond the ongoing military campaign, through the disruption of the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, the disruption of Daesh’s access to financing and funding, countering Daesh’s criminal ideology, and addressing associated humanitarian crises.
5. Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi confirmed the commitment of the Iraqi authorities to the strengthening of the rule of law, the respect of human rights for all, a policy of inclusiveness, ensuring that all components of the Iraqi society are represented in a fair manner within the federal institutions and all citizens are treated equally, without discrimination. He outlined the urgent response plan for the liberation of Anbar Province as approved unanimously on 18 May by Iraq’s Council of Ministers. The key elements of this plan include the following five steps: 1) Accelerating support to the tribal fighters of Anbar province, including their recruitment, equipping, and training, to fight alongside Iraqi forces against Daesh; 2) Recruiting into the Iraqi army divisions, particularly those divisions based in Anbar Province that have been depleted from over 18 months of fighting; 3) Recalling and restructuring the Anbar police force to hold territory liberated from Daesh; 4) Calling for international contributions to the UNDP-endorsed funding mechanism to facilitate immediate stabilization of areas cleared of Daesh; and 5) ensuring that all forces participating in the liberation of Anbar Province operate under the command and control of the Prime Minister and Iraq’s chain of command. Coalition ministers affirmed their strong support for this response plan, and agreed to accelerate their efforts in each of the five areas. They also expressed unanimous support for the government of Iraq’s efforts to mobilize and equip tribal fighters in Anbar Province and agreed to support these efforts through the Iraqi government. Finally, they pledged full support to the government and people of Iraq in the implementation of policies and concrete measures to address Iraqi citizens’ legitimate grievances and to promote national reconciliation, based on the provisions of the Iraqi constitution and the programme of government agreed by the government of Iraq in September 2014.
6. Coalition partners noted the continued deterioration of the situation in Syria and the inability and unwillingness of the Assad regime to fight Daesh. They reiterated their pledge to preserve Syria’s unity and sovereignty and called for the speedy launch of a UN-facilitated genuine and inclusive political process in order to implement the principles of the Geneva Communiqué – including the establishment, by mutual consent, of a transitional governing body with full executive powers. They affirmed that only a political transition will create the necessary conditions to reverse the tide of extremism and radicalism generated by the regime’s abuses, and confront all terrorist organisations in Syria, including Daesh, efficiently.
7. Coalition partners stressed that the fight against Daesh in Syria and Iraq remained their key priority, but noted that Daesh tried to expand its reach to other areas affected by political crisis and instability, such as Libya. Although many “affiliations” to Daesh are mainly symbolic, Coalition partners reaffirmed the need for the international community to support processes to address local causes of political crisis and instability, and to defeat this terrorist group, and its vicious ideology, wherever it appeared.
8. Coalition partners recognized the role played by the United Nations in the region to support political processes, coordinate and facilitate international humanitarian assistance, help refugees and internally displaced persons, and protect cultural heritage. They expressed their support to UNHCR operations to provide assistance and protection to refugees and displaced persons, through its Response Plan (Situation Emergency Response Appeal), including activities aimed at identifying and assisting voluntary returns when feasible. They agreed to take into account the specific need to protect threatened populations such as people belonging to ethnic or religious communities, in particular by creating the conditions for the safe, voluntary and enduring return of refugees and displaced persons. In this regard, Coalition partners welcomed the prospect of a high-level meeting in Paris to present a charter of action as a follow up to the public debate of the Security Council on the victims of ethnic and religious attacks in the Middle East that took place on 27 March 2015. They also welcomed the establishment of the Funding Facility for Immediate Stabilization to ensure resources flow immediately to areas cleared of Daesh, and initial contributions from partners.
9. Coalition partners expressed their support for the UNESCO action plans for the safeguard of the cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq, the UNESCO resolution on culture in conflict areas, the #United4Heritage campaign, and the implementation of UNSC Resolution 2199 in the field of UNESCO competences.
10. Coalition partners of the Small Group will remain fully mobilized in the coming months in the fight against Daesh. They will report to the members of the entire Coalition on their efforts and make sure that the lines of effort the Coalition is pursuing against this terrorist organization are being advanced by the Coalition’s five working groups and followed up on in the framework of the United Nations, of regional organizations, by other bodies established to fight terrorism, and by all States concerned.
11. Coalition partners of the Small Group expressed their intent to meet at the head of state and government level with all members of the Coalition on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September./.
Haidar al-Abadi, Prime Minister of Iraq - Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France – John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States of America.
¹Source of English text: French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development