India today strongly pitched for a “zero-tolerance” approach towards terrorism and demanded a “non-partisan and coherent” functioning of the United Nations to deal with the menace.
This was raised by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in her meeting with President-elect of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly Ambassador Peter Thomson here.
Thomson, who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit, also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi before holding extensive talks with Swaraj.
During the meeting, the minister told him that “We need to embed the principle such as zero-tolerance for direct or indirect state support to terror and an obligation to create ‘prosecute or extradite ‘domestic legal jurisdiction and the principle of no justification for terrorism,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
He further said Swaraj also stressed on the need for existing counter-terror structures within the UN to function in “non-partisan and coherent” manner during her talks with Thomson.
Swaraj’s remarks assume significance as Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), proposed by India in 1996, is yet to be adopted by the UN given the opposition of many countries including the US and some Islamic countries. They have not been able to agree on defining terrorism and terrorists and the scope of the proposed convention among other issues.
CCIT intends to criminalise all forms of international terrorism and make it binding for all countries to cut off funds and deny arms and safe haven to terrorist organisations.
The discussion on tackling of threats of terrorism by the UN structures also comes in the backdrop of China recently blocking India’s moves for a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar.
According to official sources, the leaders also discussed ways to provide further impetus to the ongoing Inter- Governmental Negotiations (IGN) process on UNSC reform and revitalising the functioning of the UNGA itself and implementation issues pertaining to Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In this context, Swaraj said there should not be any dilution of concept of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) while dealing with global environmental degradation.
Ambassador Thomson is currently the Permanent Representative of Fiji to the United Nations.
India has contributed $250,000 to the Trust Fund of the office of the PGA-elect and has been encouraging other countries to contribute as well.
Asserting that India was among the largest troop contributing countries to the UN, the Indian side emphasised that India’s credentials were well known and it deserves a place in the new reformed UN Security Council.