The most important challenge in the 21st century has been posed by the terrorist acts in different parts of the world. Terrorists respect no frontiers or boundaries. Terrorism is a crime against humanity. Terrorism is, in fact, premeditated, politically motivated violence committed against innocent civilians and non-combatants by individuals, groups or state agents.
At the 17th NAM Summit in Venezuela, NAM stated that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and staunchly condemned the terrorist acts in all their forms and manifestations, whatever their motivations, wherever and by whomsoever they are committed. The Movement further condemned the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites, as well as the commission of crimes against humanity by terrorist groups, among others, on the basis of their religions or belief.
The 17th NAM Summit expressed its deep concern at the scourge, posed in particular without the activities carried out by terrorist groups such as the Taliban, Al-Qaida, ISIS (Da’esh) and its affiliated entities, Jabhat Al Nusra, Boko Haram and Al Shabbaab, and other entities designated by the United Nations, including the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and the spread of violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism.
NAM firmly stated that it was necessary for States to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing and the illicit transfer of weapons, in a decisive and coordinated manner, with strict adherence to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as other obligations under international law. In this regard, they considered that the adoption of a future Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism could complement the set of existing international legal instruments, including the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In addition, NAM reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, and that these attributions should not be used to justify terrorism or counterterrorism measures that include, inter alia, profiling of terror suspects and intrusion on individual privacy.
At the 17th NAM Summit, many nations made a call for concerted action against terrorism. The Indian Vice President Mr Hamid Ansari was the leading voice against terrorism at the 17th NAM Summit and called for the establishment of a mechanism within NAM to ensure effective cooperation in combating terrorism that is the main threat to security, sovereignty and development. The Indian Vice President stressed the necessity to galvanise the international community to strengthen the international legal framework to address this menace, including by adopting the draft Comprehensive UN Convention on Terrorism, to ensure the closest cooperation amongst the international community to counter the scourge of terror. India’s stance found support among most of the NAM Member States. One of India’s neighbouring countries, Bangladesh also reeling under the scourge of terrorism firmly shared the Indian perspective.
At the 17th NAM Summit, Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam, reiterated the ‘zero tolerance’ stance of Bangladesh against terrorism and violent extremism and there solute actions taken by the Government of Bangladesh to degrade home-grown terrorists and to deny sanctuary to any regional or international terrorist operatives.
NAM Member States have resolved to take speedy and effective measures to eliminate international terrorism, and in this context, urge all States, consistent with the UN Charter, to fulfil their obligations under international law and international humanitarian law combating terrorism, including by prosecuting or, where appropriate, extraditing the perpetrators of terrorist acts; by preventing the organisation, instigation or financing of terrorist acts against other States from within or outside their territories or by organisations based in their territories. NAM has also called States tor refraining from the following 1) organising, instigating, assisting, financing or participating in terrorist acts in the territories of other States; 2) encouraging activities within their territories directed towards the commission of such acts; 3) allowing the use of their territories for planning, training or financing for such acts; and 4) supplying arms or other weapons that could be used for terrorist acts in other States.
By Dr. Pawan Mathur