Describing terrorism as an “existential threat”, India has said that “hypocrisy” towards the menace is unacceptable and underlined that terrorism is the “principle cause” of the large-scale refugee movement.
“It is important to stress that today the geo-politics of the crisis points and proves that terrorism is the principle cause of refugee movements. Can we ignore this fact, we cannot. We do so at our peril,” Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said in his address to the UN General Assembly’s first-ever Summit for Refugees and Migrants here yesterday.
Akbar asserted that terrorism is an “existential threat” and “hypocrisy towards this crisis will not do.”
He underscored that for the millions of people fleeing conflict, war and poverty, terrorism is not characterised as good or bad.
“There is no good terrorism or bad terrorism and if you do not know the answer to this question, all you have to do is ask the refugee if he considers any terrorism to be good or bad,” Akbar said.
Stressing that terrorism is the “biggest danger” to human rights, Akbar said large movements of people across borders serve as a reminder that the world has become a global village.
“We can only prosper or perish together, it is best that we learn to live in peace, prosperity and amity,” he said.
Underlining that “prevention is better than cure”, Akbar said the international community has to address issues like terrorism, prevent armed conflict and facilitate development, which will help ensure people are not forced to flee their homeland.
“We have to find out what drives them towards seeking refuge. Prevention is better than cure. Perhaps prevention is the only cure,” he said adding that preventing armed conflict, countering terrorism, building and sustaining peace to facilitating sustainable development and governance will prevent people from being forced to leave their homeland.
Terming the present refugee crisis as “unprecedented,” Akbar said the number of people on the move globally is estimated at close to 250 million or one in every 30 persons and three-fourths of all refugees come from just 11 countries.