External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday highlighted the global threat of terrorism is growing and expanding, particularly in Asia and Africa, despite the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) best efforts to combat the “gravest threat to humanity”.
Addressing the UNSC’s special meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Committee in the national capital, Jaishankar said, “Terrorism remains the gravest threat to humanity. The UN Security Council in the past two decades has evolved an important architecture built, primarily around the counter-terrorism sanctions regime to combat this menace. This has been very effective in putting the countries on notice that had turned terrorism into a state-funded enterprise.”
“Despite this, the threat of terrorism is only growing and expanding, particularly in Asia and Africa, as successive reports of 1267 sanctions committee monitoring reports have highlighted,” he added.
India is hosting the two-day anti-terrorism meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The ongoing meeting in Delhi is being held under India’s chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
Jaishankar told CTC members that their presence in Delhi at the special meeting demonstrates the importance that the UNSC member states and a wide range of stakeholders, place on this critical and emerging facet of terrorism.
“That the council is holding this special meeting of its counter-terrorism meetings in India, is also a product of the fact that counterterrorism has become one of the top priorities during our ongoing tenure in the security council,” he added.
Highlighting the flip sides of emerging technologies, Jaishankar said technologies like virtual private networks, encrypted message services and blockchains, have also thrown up new challenges for governments and regulatory bodies.
“The technologies have also thrown up new challenges for governments and regulatory bodies due to their potential vulnerability for their misuse by non-state actors, given the very nature of some of these technologies and the nascent regulatory environment,” the minister said.
“In recent years, terrorist groups, ideological fellow travelers particularly in open and liberal societies and lone wolf attackers have enhanced their capabilities by gaining access to tech. They use tech, money and ethos of open societies to attack freedom, tolerance and progress,” he added.
Furthermore, Jaishankar said internet and social media platforms have turned into potent instruments in the toolkit of terrorists and militant groups for spreading propaganda, radicalisation and conspiracy theories aimed at destabilising societies.
“Another add-on to the existing worries for governments around the world is the use of unmanned aerial systems by terrorist groups and organised criminal networks,” he added.
Lastly, Jaishankar announced that India will be making a voluntary contribution of half a million dollars to the UN Trust Fund for Counter Terrorism this year to augment the efforts of UNOCT in providing capacity-building support to member states in preventing& countering the threat of terrorism.