During the United National Security Council (UNSC) open debate '20 years after the adoption of resolution 1373’ on combating terrorism on a global front, India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar virtually addressed the committee on Tuesday, 12 January. The 15-nation body meeting was chaired by Othman Jerandi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tunisia, as the country is the current UNSC President.
Jaishankar began by saying, "Resolution 1373, adopted in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, reminds us that terrorism continues to be the gravest threat to mankind. It not only grievously impacts human life but uproots the very foundation of humanity. By adopting this Resolution, the Council conveyed its unequivocal determination to address the menace of terrorism," quoted ANI.
Addressed the UN Security Council chaired by Tunisia on global fight against terrorism.
Proposed an 8-point Action Plan:
1. Summon the political will: Don’t justify terrorism. Don’t glorify terrorists. pic.twitter.com/NkGkIOV3t4
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) January 12, 2021
8-Point Action Plan
In a first intervention since India joined the UNSC as a temporary member on 1 January 2021, Jaishankar put forward an eight-point action plan – as reported by ANI – as part of his zero tolerance policy for terrorism, saying there are “no good and bad terrorists” and there should be “no ifs and buts” around terrorist activities.
1. “Summon the political will to combat terrorism. Nor should we allow terrorism to be justified and terrorists glorified. All member states must fulfill their obligations enshrined in international counter-terrorism instruments and conventions.”
2. “Do not countenance double standards in this battle. Terrorists are terrorists; there are no good and bad ones. Those who propagate this distinction have an agenda. And those who cover up for them are just as culpable.”
3. “Reform the working methods of the committees dealing with sanctions and counter-terrorism. The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without any rhyme or reason must end.”
4. “Firmly discourage exclusivist thinking that divides the world and harms our social fabric. Such approaches facilitate radicalisation and recruitment by breeding fear, mistrust, and hatred among different communities. The UNSC should be on guard against new terminologies and misleading priorities that can dilute our focus.”
5. “Enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under the UN sanctions regimes must be done objectively, not for political or religious considerations. Proposals in this regard merit due examination before circulation.”
6. “Linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime must be fully recognized and addressed vigorously.”
7. “Combating terrorist financing will only be as effective as the weakest jurisdiction. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should continue to identify and remedy weaknesses in anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing frameworks. Enhanced UN coordination with FATF can make a huge difference.”
8. “Adequate funding to UN Counter-Terrorism bodies from the UN regular budget requires immediate attention. The forthcoming 7th review of the UN's Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy offers an important occasion to strengthen measures to prevent and combat terrorism and building capacities of member states.”
Jaishankar talked about India’s first combat deaths in 45-years that happened in last year’s border clash with China and how the trust between the countries has been affected. “After 45 years, you’ve actually had bloodshed on the border. And that’s had a huge impact on public opinion and politically. Really the impact of trust and confidence in India where China and their relationship is concerned. That has been profoundly disturbed,” Jaishankar said, quoted ANI.
Several rounds of talks have been held at both the military and diplomatic levels, but there has been no clear resolution yet. The tensions, which began in May, soared in June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley clashes at Line of Actual Control.
Without naming China, Jaishankar criticised the misuse of powers at UNSC referring to when China repeatedly blacklisted India’s efforts to have Pakistan-based terrorist and JeM chief, Azhar, to be declared as a global terrorist in UNSC’s 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, reported PTI. The UN placed sanctions on him in May 2019 marking a win to a decade of India’s efforts.
“Accordingly, we must reform the working methods of the committees dealing with sanctions and counter-terrorism. Transparency, accountability and effectiveness are the need of the day. The practice of placing blocks and holds on listing requests without rhyme or reason must end. This only erodes our collective credibility,” Jaishankar said, quoted ANI.
Asking to address the linkages between terrorism and transnational organised crime, Jaishankar lashed out at Pakistan and said, “We, in India, have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts not just given state protection but enjoying 5-star hospitality."
Without naming Pakistan, he added, “While India has been battling terrorism for many decades with great resolve, these proposals have been framed with the interests of the entire international community in mind. It is time that all nations walk the talk and commit their actions to the goal of zero tolerance for terrorism,” quoted PTI.
India-US ties have substantially improved, and will likely only expand under Biden’s administration. “Structurally the relationship with the US is very very sound, it has very unique elements, there is political convergence, growing security and defence convergence,” Jaishankar said, adding that India would positively respond to invitations and to talk trade with the US, reported PTI.
India has, so far, bought over $20 billion of weapons in the past 15 years from Washington, quoted PTI.
(With inputs from PTI and ANI.)
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