Islamic State: UN resolution aims to curb funding

Finance ministers from the 15 nations on the UN Security Council have adopted a resolution aimed at starving the so-called Islamic State of funds.

The resolution is based on one that was first passed in 1999 to target the rival jihadist group, al-Qaeda.

It urges countries to “move vigorously and decisively to cut the flow of funds” to IS, such as by preventing its smuggling of oil and antiquities.

The militant group is widely believed to be the world’s wealthiest.

A recent study estimated that its monthly revenue was $80m (£53m).


‘Comprehensive strategy’

Thursday’s summit of finance ministers of the UN Security Council in New York was the first of its kind in the international body’s 70-year history.

The US and Russian-drafted resolution they approved unanimously renamed the committee monitoring sanctions against al-Qaeda as “the ISIL (Daesh) and al-Qaeda sanctions committee”, using acronyms based on the group’s previous name in English and Arabic.


Image copyright AFP Image caption US-led coalition air strikes have been targeting oil fields and refineries in IS-held areas

Any individual, group, undertaking or entity supporting the groups and their offshoots will be subject to UN sanctions, including an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo.

The resolution encourages all countries to “more actively submit” names for inclusion on the sanctions list and to share information about extremist groups.

It also requires them to report within 120 days on what steps they have taken to curb the financing of IS, and asks UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to provide a “strategic-level report” in 45 days on the sources of revenue for IS.

A similar resolution was passed by the Security Council in February, but diplomats complain that it has been routinely flouted.

UK Chancellor George Osborne described the latest agreement as a “historic moment”.


“We’ll choke off Daesh [IS] trade in oil, end extortion, stop sales of historic artefacts and take the fight to middlemen who trade in currency of evil,” he said.

Last week, analysis by IHS suggested that the overall monthly revenue generated by IS was $80m, with about 50% coming from taxation on the profits of all the commercial activities in areas under its control and the confiscation of land and properties; and about 43% from the smuggling of oil and gas.

Other sources of revenue were the trafficking of drugs and antiquities; carrying out criminal activities, including bank robbery and kidnap for ransom; running small enterprises; and donations.