UNITED NATIONS, July 27 (Xinhua) -- UN drug office said on Wednesday that it will step up efforts to stem financing of foreign fighters with a new project supporting states to specifically target funding of the Islamic State (IS), also known Da'esh, a UN spokesman said.
Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov made the remarks at a security conference in St. Petersburg, Russia, said Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesman, at a daily news briefing here.
At the meeting, Fedotov said "Terrorism is now more of a threat to international peace and security than ever."
"As you are aware, international efforts, both political and military, have helped to halt the expansion of Da'esh in recent months. However, while the capacity and territorial control of Da'esh have begun to diminish in Syria and Iraq, the group remains a formidable threat," Fedotov said.
The executive director noted that UNODC is helping countries through its Global Programme on Strengthening the Legal Regime against Foreign Terrorist Fighters in the Middle East, North African and Balkan Regions.
"Challenges range from the use of information technologies to spread violent extremist ideologies, to the flow of foreign terrorist fighters across borders," he said, adding that the rapidity of these changes could be seen in the growth of Da'esh.
Some 99 delegations from 46 countries and international organizations are taking part in the meeting, which focuses on cooperation in combating terrorism.
In December 2015, the UN Security Council stepped up its efforts to cut off all sources of funding for the IS and other terrorist groups, including ransom payments, no matter by whom.
In a unanimously adopted resolution, the 15-nation UN body called for enhanced actions, from closing financial system loopholes to stopping the abuse of charitable causes, as well as updating the existing ISIL and Al-Qaida Sanctions List.
With terrorists increasingly employing elusive tricks to raise and transfer funds, covering their tracks and leaving little evidence to identify tainted resources, the international community must stay ahead of the curve to combat their ploys, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in last December, noting that many states have yet to set up the necessary legal regimes and institutions to identify and freeze terrorist assets. Enditem