The United Nations Security Council, the branch that has the power to act and send assistance to persecuted people, is being urged to examine the ongoing genocide of Christians and other minorities being carried out by the Islamic State terror group.
The American Center for Law and Justice, which called the news a "major breakthrough," explained that it sent a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, calling for meaningful action to help minorities being exterminated by the Islamic radicals who have captured significant territory throughout Iraq and Syria.
Late last week, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jan Kubis, submitted a briefing to the Security Council condemning "in the strongest possible terms the continued killings, kidnapping, rape and torture of Iraqis by ISIL, which may constitute crimes against humanity, war crimes and even genocide."
Kubis called on the international community "to take steps to ensure the accountability of members of ISIL for the atrocious crimes they have perpetrated."
He also warned that despite "notable and consistent progress" in the fight against IS, the terror group "remains a formidable and determined enemy that constantly adjusts its tactics and attack patterns, taking into account also developments in Syira."
Iraq's Representative to the U.N., Mohamed Ali Alhakim, further called on the Security Council to take action, and hailed Secretary of State John Kerry's decision in March to designate IS' actions as genocidal.
Alhakim "urge[d] the Security Council to set up a specific international legal mechanism for investigating and bringing to justice the criminals of ISIL."
The ACLJ, which often speaks out on issues of Christian persecution around the world, called on Ban in its letter to fulfill its responsibility in protecting minorities from genocide.
"We strongly and respectfully urge you to make this declaration and to communicate with the interested and appropriate United Nations organs to this end," the letter read.
"Once the United Nations recognises the genocide as such, then it may properly mobilise the international community to honor the terms of the Genocide Convention and fulfill its responsibility to protect."
The ACLJ also said that it is looking for the U.N. Human Rights Council to take active steps to protect minorities when it convenes in June.
Both the U.S. and the European Parliament have declared the treatment of Christians, Yazidis, and other minority groups at the hands of IS as a genocide, though so far opposition to IS has been restricted to airstrikes being carried out by the U.S. and a coalition of international allies in Syria.
"Genocide is an internationally recognized legal term and it is necessary to call for further steps such as a referral by the U.N. Security Council to the International Criminal Court in order to condemn and punish the perpetrators of genocide. We hope that the resolution that the European Parliament adopted today will ultimately help to save lives," Sophia Kuby, director of EU Advocacy at Alliance Defending Freedom International, told The Christian Post back in February following the EU Parliament vote.
Kuby urged major international institutions to recognize the plight of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East, stating that there is an urgent need for help in the ongoing crisis.