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Don’t go back to the era of ‘my terrorists’ and ‘our terrorists’, India warns UN

Despite 20 years since the September 11 terror attacks, India has warned that terrorism is being divided into different terms such as right-wing extremists and violent nationalism, stating that this is the era of ‘your terrorists’. The global crises cannot be tackled unilaterally by returning and bringing down ‘my terrorists’.

At the UN General Assembly, Ambassador Tirumurti, Permanent Representative of India in the UN, discussed the implications of the 7th Review of Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS), which can only be defeated through collective efforts of all Member States of the UN, without exception. ‘We did not realize that terrorism can directly affect another part of the world until after 9/11, and we joined together to fight terrorism collectively,’ he added.

The envoy said the international community should not forget that before the 9/11 terror attacks, the world was divided into ‘your terrorists’ and ‘my terrorists’. Two decades later, a new attempt to divide us is underway under the guise of ’emerging threats’ such as racially and ethnically motivated violent extremism, violent nationalism, and right-wing extremism.

‘I would like to wish the member states would not forget history and re-categorize terrorism into different categories, taking us back to the era of ‘your terrorists’ and ‘my terrorists’ in the last two decades. Will wipe out,’ Tirumurti said. In his view, the failure to reach an agreement on the definition of terrorism is detrimental to the end of the global crisis. The present strategy fails to resolve the impasse preventing the adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, which India supports.

The UN Global Counter-terrorism Strategy is an innovative tool for the global fight against terrorism, according to the UN Office of Counter-terrorism. In 2006, the United Nations adopted for the first time a common strategic and operational approach to combating terrorism unanimously.

Every two years, the United Nations General Assembly reviews the strategy, making it a living document that reflects the counter-terrorism priorities of member states. According to the UN agency, the General Assembly reviews the counterterrorism strategy and uses this opportunity to adopt a resolution. Tirumurti said the global counterterrorism strategy was adopted by consensus 15 years ago and was a major step towards achieving peace and security internationally.

‘In all its forms and manifestations, terrorism should be condemned; there is no exception or justification for any act of terrorism, regardless of the motivations behind it, and wherever, whenever, and by whom it occurs. Furthermore, it was noted that the threat of terrorism cannot and should not be linked to any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group,’ Tirumurthy said.

In his words, it is essential for all member states to not only ‘not lose sight of the gains we have made so far, but to ensure that we do not give any excuse for terrorism’. Therefore, reducing our collective fighting will result in a reduction of terrorism. ‘Justifying terrorism—no matter what its cause, whether it comes from religion, ideology, ethnicity, or race, only provides greater fuel for terrorist activities,’ he said. Since religious ‘fear’ is mentioned in the present document, Tirumurti said India must reiterate once again that this list is selective and limited to only three Abrahamic religions.

Once again, this reputed organization failed to acknowledge the rise of hate and violent attacks against other religions, such as Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism. Further, we must distinguish between pluralistic countries and those that practice sectarian violence and violate minority rights. He said, ‘The United Nations is not a body or forum where member states should espouse a culture based on religious-fear, but a culture that promotes a culture of compassion and humanity so the narratives of terrorists could be collectively addressed’.

Moreover, the envoy noted that the success of the strategy would depend on member states fulfilling their obligations and faithfully implementing the provisions contained in the strategy. India has been a victim of cross-border terrorism for several decades and has been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism. ‘But now is the time to get rid of those who deliberately violate global commitments by harboring terrorists and terrorist entities by providing them with financial, ideological and physical support’, he said.

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According to Tirumurti, using the internet and social media for terrorist propaganda, bigotry, and cadre recruitment; and the abuse of new payment methods such as blockchain currencies, payment wallets, and crowdfunding platforms for terrorist financing are all examples of terrorism financing. Drones, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, robotics, and misuse of emerging technologies have emerged as the most serious threats to terrorism, requiring cooperative action from all member states. Tolerance for terrorism needs to be zero in the international community. “We must speak out loud and clear against terrorism without ambiguity’, he added.


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