PM to back US plan on foreign fighters
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will throw Australia's support behind an ambitious US plan to curb the Islamic State terrorist threat during two days of high-stakes security talks at the United Nations.
Mr Abbott will leave Australia on Tuesday for UN talks in New York, where the fight against IS - both in the Middle East and at home - will be top of the agenda.
His first priority will be to attend a special sitting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, hosted by US President Barack Obama and focused on the IS foreign fighter threat.
The prime minister will personally address the council and vote in favour of a US-drafted resolution that will mandate a global crackdown on foreign fighters.
Indeed the US hopes the council will unanimously support the resolution, which will require all UN member states to craft laws to stymie the travel, funding and recruitment of IS extremists.
The resolution will also boost international information and intelligence sharing arrangements.
It's believed the resolution will invoke Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows the world body to impose sanctions or authorise the use of force against nations that don't abide by it.
Between 60 and 70 Australians are believed to have joined IS in Iraq and Syria.
They are among an estimated 12,000 fighters from dozens of countries that have joined the savage group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, which has seized vast swathes of territory.
The escalating conflict against IS in Iraq will also be high on Mr Abbott's agenda, with Australia's role set to become clearer after he speaks with Mr Obama and others.
Mr Abbott has described IS as an "evil menace" that revels in murder.
"It is important for Australia and for the world that ISIL is defeated," he says.
The prime minister will also deliver Australia's national statement to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, and hopes to have sideline talks with a range of foreign leaders.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane are also likely to feature on the prime minister's agenda.
But climate change won't.
Mr Abbott is arriving in New York a day after a major UN climate summit that will attract around 120 world leaders. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop will attend in his stead.