BJP patriarch LK Advani, who is in the United States delivered a speech on ”Measures To Eliminate International Terrorism” at the 6th Committee of the 67th Session of United Nations General Assembly on 08 October, 2012. Giving his message, Advani said that terrorism constituted the most serious challenge to international peace and security, with terrorists not just globalized, but are waging an asymmetric warfare against the international community. Here is the entire speech made by Advani:
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you for your election as the Chairperson of the Sixth Committee. I also congratulate other members of the Bureau on their election. I assure you of our full cooperation and support.
We would also like to thank the Secretary General for his comprehensive report on “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism”.
Terrorism today constitutes the most serious challenge to international peace and security. Today, terrorists are not only globalized, but are waging an asymmetric warfare against the international community.
India condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. No cause or grievance could justify terrorism. We need to adopt a holistic approach that ensures zero-tolerance towards terrorism.
We need to constantly expand the scope of the legal instruments taking into account the changing nature of the threat and expand enforcement efforts to destroy safe havens for terrorists, their financial flows and support networks.
The UN has played a seminal role in combating terrorism and capacity building of member States. India strongly supports all efforts, especially within the purview of the United Nations that strengthen international and regional cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The success in the fight against terrorism goes hand-in-hand with progress in strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation and exchange of information at the international, regional and sub-regional level.
The Global Counter Terrorism Strategy is a unique and universally agreed strategic framework to counter terrorism. The setting up of the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) in 2010 has provided an institutional framework to support the implementation of the Strategy as well as the harmonization of an integrated counter-terrorism approach within the UN system.
In the UN context, an effective and balanced implementation of the Strategy requires greater international and regional cooperation than the international community has so far been able to achieve. We are hopeful that the newly established UN Counter Terrorism Center within the CTITF Office will supplement these efforts, including through capacity building and play a meaningful role in assisting States, at national and regional levels towards achieving these objectives.
We must also continue to strengthen the normative framework at the United Nations. Time has come for adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism which has been pending for a long time. The Convention will further strengthen the implementation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
As Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee, it has been India’s constant endeavour to provide a political direction to the work of the Committee and a greater momentum to efforts in bolstering member states’ ability in confronting the scourge of terrorism.
Last year, the Counter-Terrorism Committee, organized a Special Meeting to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and establishment of the Counter-Terrorism Committee pursuant to that resolution. The Committee adopted an Outcome Document, which is a major landmark in providing strategic direction to the work of the Committee aimed at strengthening capacity of States in their counter-terrorism efforts. The Outcome Document urges all Member States to ensure zero-tolerance towards terrorism.
Next month, the Committee will organize another Special Meeting with Member States and relevant international and regional organizations focussing on “prevention and suppression of financing of terrorism.
My own country, India, has faced the scourge of terrorism for over two-and-a-half decades. Indeed, our entire region, South Asia, has been wracked by the activities of the biggest terrorist actors in the world, be they Al-Qaida, elements of Taliban or Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud Daawa and others. Terrorism, extremism and radicalization continue to pose a serious challenge to peace, progress and prosperity in the region.
Within the framework of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), we have adopted the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism of 1987, and its Additional Protocol of 2004 on the financing of terrorism, and the SAARC Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters of 2008. India is working with fellow SAARC countries to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation.
The Government of India has taken important steps towards strengthening its strategic, legal and operational framework in the fight against terrorism. India is a party to 13 international counter-terrorism conventions and protocols.
The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act incorporates provisions dealing with all aspects of terrorism including conspiracy and incitement to terrorism. The Act criminalizes raising of funds for terrorist activities, holding of proceeds of terrorism, harboring of terrorists, unauthorized possession or use of any bomb, dynamite or hazardous explosive substance or other lethal weapons.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction (Prevention) Act, 2005 provides detailed measures to prevent weapons of mass destruction or dual use materials from falling into the hands of terrorists and non-state actors.
The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 seeks to further streamline monitoring of all foreign contributions received by non-governmental organizations and religious, educational and charitable organizations etc. to prevent their misuse.
India has concluded more than forty bilateral treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. India is also an active member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
As part of our operational counter-terrorism framework, the National Investigation Agency is mandated to investigate and prosecute offences affecting the sovereignty, security and integrity of India, friendly relations with foreign States and offences under Acts enacted to implement international treaties, agreements, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations and other international organizations. The government has also created and empowered the Multi Agency Centre (MAC) as a dynamic institution for faster intelligence coordination on counter terrorism. A National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), linking data bases for constructing actionable intelligence to combat terrorism and internal security threats, has also been set up. The Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS), covering the entire country, is currently under implementation. The Financial Intelligence Unit-India (FIU-IND) has launched the Project FINnet (Financial Intelligence Network) with the objective to adopt industry best practices and appropriate technology to collect, analyze and disseminate valuable financial information for combating money laundering and related crimes.
The fight against terrorism has to be unrelenting and fought across all fronts. The international community cannot afford selective approaches in dealing with terrorist groups or in dismantling the infrastructure of terrorism. Terrorism is a Frankenstein monster. Resort to the use of terrorism as an instrument of State Policy is short-sighted. Indeed, those who have taken recourse to it have invariably themselves suffered immensely from it proving the age old dictum that those who play with the sword, also perish by it.
We must step up our collective efforts with real cooperation among member states to confront the scourge of terrorism squarely and decisively.
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