India: An Important UN Partner in Countering Terrorism

Non-Aligned Movement has expressed concern at the threat of terrorism to international security. During the 18th NAM Ministerial Meeting held at Baku in April 2018, the Movement reiterated that terrorist acts constitute one of the most flagrant violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the right to life, leading to the lack of the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples, and that such acts endanger the territorial integrity and stability of States as well as national, regional and international security, destabilize legitimately constituted governments or the prevailing constitutional order and political unity of States, affect the stability of nations and the very basis of societies, as well as create adverse consequences on the economic and social development and cause the destruction of the physical and economic infrastructure of States.

NAM has called upon the Member States to cooperate resolutely against international terrorism. India, one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, has been at the forefront in the fight against global terrorism. India continues to be a significant target for terrorist groups and has been the victim of numerous attacks.

India strongly supports all efforts, especially within the purview of the United Nations that strengthen international and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism and strongly favours the strengthening of the normative framework at the United Nations to effectively deal with the scourge of terrorism. India stresses the need for expanding the scope of the legal instruments and the enforcement efforts to destroy safe havens for terrorists, their financial flows and support networks and to bring the terrorists to justice. India is also a party to the 13 sectoral conventions on terrorism adopted by the UN.

India has also welcomed the establishment of a new UN office to coordinate counter-terrorism efforts and has stated that the creation of the new UN counter- terrorism office demonstrates the importance member states place on collective and coordinated action on terrorism, which remains the most complex threat faced by the international community.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin remarked that the creation of the Office of Counter Terrorism Coordinator is a much awaited first step in the efforts of the international community to enhance coordination of the Counter- Terrorism efforts and that the office’s creation “will align the UN with the changed global reality and needs of the international community.” In June 2018, India announced a contribution of US$ 550,000 to support the work of the Office of Counter-Terrorism.

India’s role in cooperating with the UN counter-terrorism mechanisms was recognised by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres. He remarked that India is an “important partner” of the United Nations in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism and there are plans to step up cooperation between the two on strengthening capacity in combating terror financing.

In an email interview with a leading Indian news agency, Guterres said: “The threat of radicalisation, violent extremism, and terrorism continues to persist and even grow in many parts of the world. Modern-day terrorists are savvy in both technology and social media, successfully exploiting contemporary tools to propagate the narrative of hate and violence to recruit young people and raise fund … There are also plans for cooperation between India and the United Nations on strengthening capacity in the areas of countering terrorist financing, and on the use of advance passenger information”.

India’s counter-terrorism efforts have also been praised by the major global powers. The annual “Country Report on Terrorism” published in the United States appreciates the efforts and resolve of the Indian leadership to prevent terrorist attacks domestically and to bring to justice the perpetrators of terrorism in cooperation with like minded countries. India has also actively cooperated in international mechanisms to curb terror financing. India is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as well as two FATF-style regional bodies – the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor

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