The United Nations Security Council condemned the "heinous and cowardly" killing of American journalist James Foley and said the Islamic State militant group "must be defeated."
Foley, a well-known freelance journalist, went missing in Syria in 2012. Islamic State insurgents released a video on Tuesday showing his beheading, and images of another US journalist whose life they said depended on US action in Iraq. The video, titled "A Message To America," was posted on social media sites.
In a statement, the council called the killing "a tragic reminder of the increasing dangers journalists face every day in Syria."
"It once again demonstrates the brutality of ISIL, which is responsible for thousands of abuses against the Syrian and Iraqi people," the council said, using one of the acronyms by which the Islamic State militants are known.
"The members of the Security Council stressed that ISIL must be defeated and that the intolerance, violence and hatred it espouses must be stamped out," the council said.
The council called for "a common effort amongst governments and institutions" to confront "ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, group, undertakings and entities associated with al-Qaida."
Foley, who had reported in the Middle East for five years, was kidnapped on Nov. 22, 2012, by unidentified gunmen. Steven Sotloff, who appeared at the end of the video, went missing in northern Syria while he was reporting in July 2013.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned Foley's murder.
"The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms the horrific murder of journalist James Foley, an abominable crime that underscores the campaign of terror the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues to wage against the people of Iraq and Syria," Stephane Dujarric said.