Urgent need for Global Convention on Terrorism says India

India has criticised the lack of “collective will” for a long-pending global convention on terrorism and called for its urgent adoption, asserting that proliferation of weapons of mass destruction by non-state actors constitutes one of the biggest threats to world peace.

“The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery to non-state actors continues to constitute one of the biggest and most serious threats to international peace and security today,” India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Tanmaya Lal said at a Security Council debate proliferation of ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) by non-State Actors’ here yesterday.

He said as a victim of terrorism for over three decades, India is cognizant of the “catastrophic dangers” that the transfer of WMDs to non-State actors and terrorists could entail.

“As we continue efforts to achieve universal adherence and reporting to these instruments, we must not forget the urgent task of closing out negotiations on a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN, which has been under discussion since 1996. Such delay hints at a lack of collective will on an existentialist issue that has become the most serious threat to world peace since 1945,” he said.

Lal emphasised that it is imperative the international community comes together to eliminate the risks related to sensitive materials and technologies falling into the hands of terrorists and non-State actors.

He said meeting new proliferation challenges requires new approaches for evolving a more “cooperative and consensual” international security order that effectively addresses genuine proliferation concerns and “differentiates between responsible States whose actions strengthen non-proliferation and those that weaken the realisation of its objectives”.

He pointed out that India is committed to maintaining effective law-based controls to prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist activities and to maintain effective domestic controls to prevent WMD proliferation.

“India has over the years enacted effective laws and regulations and has institutionalised an array of administrative mechanisms to prohibit WMD access to non-State actors and terrorists,” he said.

India will host the Implementation & Assessment Group (lAG) meeting of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) in New Delhi in February next year.

In a resolution adopted yesterday, the 15-member Council expressed concern over the threat of terrorism and the risk that non-State actors may acquire or use nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.

The Council called on all countries to establish national controls to prevent proliferation of such weapons as well as their means of delivery. It also reiterated the need to continue to strengthen ongoing cooperation among various intergovernmental bodies and entities concerning terrorist groups such as Al-Qaida, ISIS, as well as counter-terrorism, through enhanced information sharing, coordination and technical assistance.

Lal said India welcomes the focus in the resolution on enhanced cooperation with other terrorist sanction regimes and hopes this will lead to strengthening of international cooperation and preventing mechanisms.

Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson underlined the threats posed by weapons of mass destruction in the wrong hands and called on the international community to “take advantage of every opportunity to strengthen our collective defences […] that are nimble and flexible.”

Stressing on the threats of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons as well as of the “growing nexus” between such weapons, terrorism and cyber security, he added: “The nightmare scenario of a hack on a nuclear power plant causing uncontrolled release of ionizing radiation is growing


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