United Against Terrorism: Relevance for UPSC
GS 3: Challenges to Internal Security Through Communication Networks, Government Policies & Interventions, India and its Neighbourhood
United Against Terrorism: Why in news?
- For the first time since 2015, the United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee held a special meeting away from Headquarters, in Mumbai and New Delhi, India, on 28 and 29 October.
- The meeting focused on contemporary challenges from online radicalization and terror recruitment, terror financing through crypto-currency and virtual assets, unmanned aerial system and other emerging technologies.
UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee: How UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee formed?
- Countering the scourge of terrorism has been on the agenda of the United Nations for decades.
- In the aftermath of the 11 September attacks against the United States in 2001, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1373 (2001), which for the first time established a dedicated Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) of the Council.
- The CTC is assisted by an Executive Directorate (CTED), which carries out its policy decisions and conducts expert assessments of the 193 United Nations Member States.
UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee: Members of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC)
The Committee is composed of 15 Member States:
- Russian Federation
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
Which are the five points listed by India for the consideration of the UNSC-CTC?
- Effective and sustained efforts to counter terror-financing.
- Normative efforts of the UN need to be coordinated with other fora like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
- Make sure that the Security Council’s sanctions regime is not rendered ineffective because of political reasons.
- International cooperation and concerted actions against terrorists and their sponsors including the dismantlement of terrorist safe havens, etc. are critical imperatives.
- Recognise these linkages and strengthen multilateral efforts to break against terrorism’s nexus with a transnational organised crime like arms and illicit drug trafficking.
How important was it for India to host the UNSC-CTC meeting?
- India’s decision to host the United Nations Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) is an important marker of the Government’s ongoing effort to highlight terrorism issues at a time the global body has been more focused on the Ukraine war.
- Held in Mumbai and Delhi, it brought UN officials, and ministers and diplomats from all members of the Security Council (UNSC), to discuss challenges to the global counter-terrorism architecture.
- During the UNSC conference, the attendees heard not only from victims of the attacks but also voice samples of LeT recruiter Sajid Mir directing terrorists during the attacks.
India Highlighted the case of 26/11
- In Mumbai, the spotlight was on the 26/11 attacks. Despite the global nature of the terror targets, India has had an uphill battle since 2008 in international cooperation to pursue the case, and in bringing the lone surviving attacker, Ajmal Kasab, through a full trial and execution.
How parties responded on 26/11?
- After a brief period of information sharing, Pakistan has dragged its feet on prosecuting even LeT commanders Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi and others that its Federal Investigative Agency held responsible for the attacks.
- Mir, now in a Pakistani prison on terror financing charges, after Pakistan’s grey-listing at the Financial Action Task Force mandated action, has not been tried.
- The U.S., which has cooperated in many other ways with India on terrorism, convicted conspirators David Headley and Tahawwur Rana for the attacks, but has refused to extradite them.
- China continues to block designating LeT leaders on the UNSC 1267 terror list, a problem External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken specifically mentioned at the conference.
Key focus areas of the UNSC-CTC
- In Delhi, the CTC focus was on online radicalisation and terror recruitment, terror financing through crypto-currency and virtual assets, and unmanned aerial system use including drones for terror strikes, transporting drugs and arms.
- The deliberations led to the “Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes”.
What is Delhi declaration during UNSC-CTC Meet?
- The committee, with representation from all 15 UNSC members, besides counter-terror experts, adopted “Delhi Declaration” at the end of the two-day special conclave.
- It called on member countries to ensure zero tolerance towards terrorist activities and vowed to deal with the menace more vigorously.
- The declaration also called for “urgent action” to counter terrorism through the full and effective implementation of various UN resolutions and reaffirmed that terrorism in all forms constituted “one of the most serious threats” to international peace and security.
- It was against associating terrorism with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group, and called on member states to continue their efforts towards the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
- It strongly condemned the continued flow of weapons, military equipment, drones and IEDs to and between ISIL, Al-Qaida, their affiliates and associated individuals and groups. At the same time, the committee felt human rights and fundamental freedoms must not be trampled under the guise of fighting terrorism.
- While India has only two months left in its current elected tenure at the UNSC, the Government appears to be making efforts to keep up the momentum from the CTC meet; it will host an international “No Money For Terror” conference (November 18-19), and a UNSC special briefing on challenges to global counter-terrorism efforts (December 15-16).
- As the Indian experience with 26/11 has shown, the global community has often been long on statements but short on cooperative action, and New Delhi will have to keep pressing the point that terrorism remains
Terrorism is the “gravest threat to humanity” and the international community should rise above political differences and India should continuously lead & push the world to defeat the challenge of terrorism.