US to hold UN summit to strengthen global efforts to combat financing of extremist groups

The United States is organizing a summit of finance ministers from U.N. Security Council nations aimed at strengthening global efforts to combat “the financing of terrorism” — especially methods used by Islamic State extremists.

The U.S. Mission to the United Nations said Friday that Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will chair the Dec. 17 meeting which will adopt a new resolution on the sanctions regime against al-Qaida and the Islamic State, focused on the growing IS threat.

Lew said cutting IS, also known as ISIL, off from the international financial system and disrupting its financing “are critical to effectively combatting this violent terrorist group.”

“A united international front is vital to achieve that goal, and this meeting marks an important step in co-ordinating our efforts,” he said in a statement.

U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power said Tuesday that the United States is working on a draft resolution “that will consolidate and streamline the council’s recent efforts on ISIL financing, as well as include new steps to make the sanctions more effective.”

She stressed Friday that “the United States is focused on using every tool in its toolbox to defeat ISIL.”

Russia has also circulated a draft resolution aimed at tightening the U.N. crackdown on the financing of IS and other extremist groups.

The Security Council adopted a Russian-sponsored resolution on Feb. 12 which is aimed at halting illicit oil sales, trading in antiquities, and ransom payments for hostages that are key methods used by extremist groups to finance their operations.

Power said the new Russian effort is focused on the same thing the United States is focused on and expressed guarded optimism that U.S. and Russian ideas can be melded into a resolution.