UNITED NATIONS: India has cautioned against the use of terrorism as a “card” by some nations, underlining that it is an international threat that should not be allowed to serve national strategy.
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, addressing a General Assembly session on UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, said while nations deal with the threats posed by terrorism, “we must resist the temptation of buying individual peace for ourselves by striking deals that divert terrorists elsewhere.”
“We need to intensify our efforts in persuading states to refrain from using terrorism as a card in the games that nations play. While non-state actors such as terrorists think global, we representatives of States alas, are thinking only nationally,” he said yesterday.
Mr Akbaruddin also warned against the dangers of discrimination among terrorists – “good or bad or yours and mine,” emphasising that terrorism is an international threat that should not be allowed to serve national strategy.
“We need to move beyond discouraging state sponsorship of terrorism and take the next step of building effective inter-state cooperative mechanisms to combat it. If cooperation is to thrive, Inter-Governmental organisations such as the UN need to be strengthened to deal with the substance of these threats,” he said.
Mr Akbaruddin added that the list of the international community’s collective limitations in dealing with the threats posed by terrorists is too long and self-evident to be recalled in its entirety.
“Imagination and integration remain two of our major shortcomings as individual nations and collectively as the United Nations. These have caused much distress at crucial times.”
He stressed on the need for “honest introspection” to pressing concerns such as from where do the terrorists get their training and financing. “While addressing our limitations, we must do an honest introspection. There are important issues today before the international community that beg answers. Where do potential terrorists go for training? How does their financing work? What are we doing to disrupt the eco-systems that promote terror startups? Do we know the answers and yet choose to look away,” he said.
India also voiced concern over the international community’s reaction to terrorism in some geographies being different from others. “We are currently witnessing the impact of the Middle East on Europe, a development that was waiting to happen and yet not anticipated! In South Asia, we are witnessing the international community’s efforts of combating terrorism being affected by a fatigue of a long-drawn war in Afghanistan,” he added.
Mr Akbaruddin described nuclear terrorism, radiological terrorism and cyber terrorism as “apocalyptic threats” that have emerged as “ruthless” non-state actors evolve their ideology and adapt strategies to strike deeper roots and explore different avenues to threaten innocent populations of established States.
He reiterated the need for an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, saying it will reflect the unwavering common commitment to cooperate in combating terrorism.
He expressed hope that the creation of the Office of Counter Terrorism will encourage an ‘all of UN’ approach while addressing the scourge of terrorism.
“It is possible that some aspects of this approach may appear overly ambitious given the turf battles common at such fora. However, we must not set ourselves a low bar,” he said.