We failed ourselves by continuing to procrastinate on concluding CCIT: India

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United Nations | Published: January 23, 2020 2:58:44 PM

India proposed a draft document on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN in 1986 but it has not been implemented as there is no unanimity on the definition of terrorism among the member states.

Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, CCIT, terrorism, K Nagaraj NaiduNaidu underscored that from the oceans to outer-space and cyber-space, the global commons require ethical and normative principles to guide their equitable, responsible and sustainable use. (Twitter)

India has criticized the UN’s inability to agree on a common definition of terrorism and its failure to craft a “coherent and well-coordinated” policy to tackle the global scourge, saying the international community has failed itself by procrastinating on the long-pending CCIT’s conclusion. India proposed a draft document on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN in 1986 but it has not been implemented as there is no unanimity on the definition of terrorism among the member states.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu, speaking at a session of the General Assembly on ‘Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization’ here on Wednesday, said: “…Fires continue to blaze on our horizon, demanding from us collaboration, not competition, innovation not inertia”.

He stressed that the global community’s inability to seriously address terrorism – the most dangerous of scourges faced by states and societies since the World War II – “casts doubt on the relevance of this Organisation to the very people whom the Charter obliges us to protect”. “The UN is yet to agree on a common definition, let alone craft a coherent and well-coordinated policy to tackle terrorism and dismantle its enabling networks. We have failed ourselves by continuing to procrastinate on concluding the Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism,” he said.

Naidu also lamented the lack of progress in reforming the UN Security Council, saying the organisation faces a crisis of legitimacy if it does not reform itself to represent the contemporary realities. “In an increasingly contested world, the credibility of the United Nations will hinge on its ability to navigate the faultiness and shape the rules of the game for a secure and prosperous future. This requires continuous attention and active engagement, not just a one-time push forced by the latest ‘crisis of the day’,” the Indian diplomat said.

Naidu underscored that from the oceans to outer-space and cyber-space, the global commons require ethical and normative principles to guide their equitable, responsible and sustainable use. “What holds the UN back from truly invigorating action on issues of pressing global concern? The answer lies in something that unfortunately does not find mention in the report.

“The effectiveness, relevance and longevity of any institution lie in its dynamic character and its ability to adapt itself to the changing times. As long as the key organs of this Organisation remain anchored in a governance architecture that is frozen in a bygone era, the crisis of legitimacy and performance will persist,” he said. Noting that four decades have passed since the inscription of the item on reform of the Security Council on the Agenda of the General Assembly, Naidu said as the UN marks its 75t?h anniversary this year, member states must strive to ensure that this milestone year is the one that finally delivers some concrete progress towards a Council that reflects the realities of the contemporary world.

He reminded the UN member states that they cannot rest on their laurels in terms of what still needs to be done. “We owe this to the millions around the world who continue to look to the United Nations for succour and hope”. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a wide-ranging speech to the General Assembly, said the world faces is four looming threats to human progress – surging geopolitical tensions, climate crisis, global mistrust and the downsides of technology.

“These four horsemen… can jeopardise every aspect of our shared future. That is why commemorating the 75th anniversary with nice speeches won’t do. We must address these four 21st-century challenges with four 21st-century solutions,” Guterres said. Naidu acknowledged that today, the spirit of global partnership is showing clear signs of strain battered by a steadily rising tide of protectionism and unilateralism.

“We share the Secretary-General’s conviction that a vibrant, credible and effective United Nations is a critical bulwark against the pressures being faced by the global order,” the Indian diplomat added. India has maintained that the CCIT will provide a strong legal basis for the fight against terrorism and will be in the interest of all member states to have a multilateral and collective dimension of counter-terrorism effort.

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