Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, Ruchira Kamboj on Wednesday briefed Security Council on the key aspects of the work undertaken by the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and the achievements of CTC under India’s Chairship of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED).
"As Chair of the Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1373 of 2001 concerning counter-terrorism, I have the honour to brief the Council on key aspects of the work undertaken by the Counter-Terrorism Committee since the beginning of this year, supported by its Executive Directorate, CTED,” said Kamboj.
Taking a step further, the Committee organized a Special Meeting on the overarching theme of countering the ‘Use of New and Emerging Technologies for Terrorist’ purposes in Mumbai and New Delhi on October 28-29, 2022, with the generous support of the Government of India.
“The discussions were focused on the increased threat posed by the use for terrorist purposes of three significant technologies one, the internet and social media; two, new payment technologies and fundraising methods and three, unmanned aerial systems, including drones,” said Kamboj.
The Committee members also paid tribute to all victims of terrorism, including the victims of the 9/11 attack on the US and the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks in India.
As an outcome of the special meeting, the committee adopted the Delhi Declaration on Countering the Use of New and Emerging Technologies for terrorist purposes.
“The Declaration is a pioneering document aimed at enhancing the Council’s approach to addressing this threat in a comprehensive and holistic manner,” said the Indian envoy.
Among the listed items in the declaration is the decision to continue to work on recommendations on the three themes of the special meeting and the intention to develop a set of non-binding guiding principles to further assist member states in the implementation of the relevant Security Council resolutions on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.
“As part of its commitment to both prioritize and emphasize its work on these issues, the Committee is planning to organize an open briefing on the outcome of the Special Meeting early next month, where it will highlight its achievements regarding other thematic issues,” said Kamboj.
The Committee also paid attention to further enhancing and promoting its engagement with a broad range of civil society actors, including women’s organizations, throughout its activities.
The Committee also made efforts to invite civil society organizations, including those from Africa and Asia to its meetings, ensuring diversity and inclusivity of civil society representation. Similarly, the Committee and CTED continue to ensure that gender is integrated as a cross-cutting issue.
“Through the CTED’s activities, the Committee ensured greater participation of women in the Special Meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in Mumbai and New Delhi, 40 per cent of speakers of the Special Meeting were women,” said Kamboj.
“The Committee also intends to organize a closed briefing on integrating gender into counterterrorism responses next month. The Chair of the Counterterrorism Committee participated in the Malaga Conference on 11 May 2022, highlighting that the protection of human rights should be an important aspect of the global fight against terrorism and states, therefore, have a responsibility to protect their nationals and others against the threat of terrorist acts by taking positive measures consistent with international law, including human rights law, and bringing the perpetrators of such acts to justice,” She added.
The Committee’s core mandate includes monitoring and assessing the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions with the assistance of CTED and facilitating the delivery of technical assistance for capacity building while paying full attention to relevant issues to the state’s international human rights obligations.
“Acting on behalf of the Committee, CTED resumed the onsite assessment visits in April this year amidst the lingering challenge of the Covid pandemic. Ten assessment visits were conducted in Africa, the Americas, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, the Pacific and Southeast Asia during the year,” said Kamboj.
CTED, in line with its mandate, continued to engage with experts in civil society, academia, think tanks and the private sector to support the efforts of the CTC to advance the implementation of various Security Council resolutions. The Committee, with the support of CTED, also continued to facilitate the delivery of technical assistance to Member States.
“In this regard, the Committee and CTED have continued to strengthen the cooperation with the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism or UNOCT and other implementing partners within the Global Counterterrorism Coordination Compact and with international and regional organizations,” said Kamboj.
CTED is also a key partner in UNOCT’s global programs contributing to the direction of the programs, the design of technical assistance and integrating key recommendations and analysis of the Committee.
The Committee and CTED continued to raise awareness of new and emerging terrorism trends and challenges and promote the policies of the Council and the guidelines of the Committee as well as international best practices with a view to assisting Member States’ implementation efforts.
The meeting also highlighted the serious global security concerns due to the recent developments in Afghanistan and the possibility of it becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
“The Security Council demanded unequivocally that Afghan territory not be used for sheltering, training, planning or financing terrorist acts and called for concerted action against all terrorist groups,” said Kamboj.
While participating in the High-level International Conference on Counterterrorism in Central Asia on March 3rd, 2022, the Chair of the CTC underlined the high terrorist threat in Central Asia due to returning foreign terrorist fighters and developments in Afghanistan, and that the ties between the Taliban, largely through Haqqani’s and Al Qaeda and foreign terrorist fighters remained close.
"Since the terrorist threat in the region continues to remain high, the Committee is scheduled to organize an open briefing on Central Asia next month,” informed Kamboj.
The Committee underlined the need to differentiate political ideologies in a constitutional framework from violent radical ideologies of terrorist groups on thematic issues.
Over the past year, the Committee has held several open and closed meetings with the support of CTC, addressing various regional and thematic topics relevant to the implementation of Security Council resolutions.
As the terrorist threat continues to persist and grow, particularly in the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia and several parts of Africa, the Counter-terrorism Committee has paid a particular focus on these regions.
Image courtesy: ANI