27 FEBRUARY 2015
Security Council Press Statement on ISIL’s Destruction of Religious and Cultural Artefacts in Mosul
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the ongoing barbaric terrorist acts in Iraq by ISIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant] (Da’esh), including: the abduction of 100 Sunni tribesmen from outside Tikrit on 25 February; the immolation of 45 Iraqis in Baghdadi on 17 February; ongoing daily attacks targeting civilians in Baghdad; and the deliberate destruction of irreplaceable religious and cultural artefacts housed in the Mosul Museum and burning of thousands of books and rare manuscripts from the Mosul Library.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their condemnation of the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria, particularly by ISIL, including targeted destruction of religious sites and objects, and noted with concern that ISIL and other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida are generating income from engaging directly or indirectly in the looting and smuggling of cultural heritage items from archaeological sites, museums, libraries, archives, and other sites in Iraq and Syria, which is being used to support their recruitment efforts and strengthen their operational capability to organize and carry out terrorist attacks.
The members of the Security Council stressed again 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 such continued acts of barbarism perpetrated by ISIL do not intimidate them, but rather stiffen their resolve and stressed that there has to be a common effort amongst Governments and institutions, including those in the region most affected, to counter ISIL, as the Council resolved in United Nations Security Council resolutions 2161 (2014), 2170 (2014) and 2199 (2015), and underscored the need for their full and immediate implementation by all Member States.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that no act of violence or terrorism can reverse a path towards peace, democracy and reconstruction in Iraq, underpinned by the rule of law and respect for human rights, which is supported by the people and the Government of Iraq and the international community. They reminded States that they must ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law.