External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday (local time) highlighted terror financing and double standards in countering terrorism at UNSC.
Speaking at the high-level UNSC briefing on 'Global Counterterrorism Approach: Challenges and Way Forward', he said, "We cannot let another '9/11 of New York' or '26/11 of Mumbai' happen again. In the last two decades, terrorism has been significantly countered and its justification de-legitimised."
S Jaishankar, however, said this remains a work in progress. Combating terrorism is a battle in which there is no respite, he said, adding that the world cannot afford attention deficit or tactical compromises.
It is most of all for the Security Council to lead the global response in this regard, he said.
He laid out four specific challenges with which the counter-terrorism architecture is currently grappling. "One, the issue of terror financing and state culpability, whether by commission or omission. The world may no longer be willing to buy the justifications and cover-ups as in the past," said S Jaishankar.
The External Affairs Minister reiterated that terror is terror, whatever the explanation.
"The question now arises as to the responsibilities of the state from whose soil such actions are planned, supported and perpetrated," he added.
Speaking about the second challenge -- ensuring the integrity and accountability of the counter-terror multilateral mechanisms and their working methods -- he said they are on occasions opaque, sometimes driven by agendas and at times, pushed without evidence.
He also highlighted double standards in countering terrorism, leading to concerns of politicisation.
"The same criteria are not applied to sanctioning and prosecuting terrorists. It would seem sometimes that the ownership of terrorism is more important than its perpetration or its consequences," he said.
"Four, countering threats from the misuse of new and emerging technologies by terrorists. This is likely to be the next frontier of our battle," said S Jaishanakar.
Emphasising on terror-related activities such recruitment, financing and motivation, he said, "By now, it is well established where and how terrorist organizations operate, and under what kind of protection. Activities like recruitment, financing and motivation are often done in the open. The days when it could be said that we are unaware are now behind us."
"Consequently, assigning responsibility is that much easier. The response of the sponsors of terrorism is not to give up but to conduct and execute their agenda at an arms-length. To do this, they create narratives of limitations and difficulties. We buy such explanations at our own peril. The suggestion that states who are apparently capable on everything else but are only helpless when it comes to terrorism is ludicrous. Accountability must therefore be the bedrock of counter-terrorism," S Jaishankar said.
He added that the working methods of relevant mechanisms is also a subject of legitimate concern. "At one level, we have seen levels of protection that come close to justification. Then, there are evidence-backed proposals that are put on hold without assigning adequate reason. Conversely, there has even been recourse to anonymity so as to avoid taking ownership of untenable cases," S Jaishankar said.
On dealing with double standards, both inside and outside the Council, he said, "For too long, some have persisted with the approach that terrorism is just another instrument or stratagem. Those invested in terrorism have used such cynicism to carry on. It is not just plain wrong but could be downright dangerous, even for the very people whose toleration extends this far."
He also underscored the growing potential for the misuse of new and emerging technologies by extremists, radicals and terrorists.
"Over the years, they have diversified their funding portfolio and expanded their recruitment toolkit. They exploit the anonymity afforded by new and emerging technologies such as virtual currencies for fundraising and finances. Terrorist groups have also been taking advantage of openness of democratic societies, by spreading false narratives, inciting hatred, and radicalizing ideologies," said S Jaishankar.
He called upon members to adopt a comprehensive, contemporary and result-oriented approach to this set of challenges.
"No individual state should endeavor to seek political gain from terrorism and none of us collectively should ever put up with such calculations. When it comes to tackling terrorism, we must overcome our political differences and manifest a zero-tolerance approach," he added.
As the Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council this year, India has striven to bring these principles into the counter-terrorism architecture at the UN and into the debate on terrorism at this Council, he added.
The 'Delhi Declaration' adopted is a landmark document, he noted.
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