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UN Counter-Terror Meet

Context

  • The UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) meeting ended with the adoption of the Delhi Declaration.
  • India hosted the meeting this year. This was the first UNSC-CTC meeting in India since its inception in 2001.
    • The meeting began with a wreath-laying ceremony at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai’s 26/11 Memorial.
  • The second day of the meeting was held in New Delhi.

Relevance

GS Paper 3: Organized Crime & Terrorism

Mains Question

Terrorism poses a serious threat to national security. What solutions do you have to this growing threat? What are the most common sources of terrorist financing? (150 Words)


The Delhi declaration

  • Zero tolerance for terrorism in the Delhi Declaration
  • Terrorism, in all of its forms and manifestations, is one of the most serious threats to global peace and security.
  • As a result, it urged all member states to maintain zero tolerance for terrorism in accordance with their international legal obligations.
  • Called on all member states to work together in the fight against terrorism to identify safe havens, deny terrorists access to them, and bring terrorists to justice.
  • Didn’t specifically mention cross-border terrorism or name any Pakistan-based terror group.
  • It emphasised the importance of effectively countering the methods used by the IS terror group and Al-Qaida, as well as their affiliates, to incite and recruit others to commit terrorist acts.
  • According to the declaration, terrorism should be associated with no religion, nationality, civilisation, or ethnic group.
  • Taken note of new threats emerging as a result of increased technological use
  • It expressed concern that the use of new and emerging technologies has increased the spread of terrorism.
  • Terrorists are increasingly using unmanned aerial systems (UAS) around the world.
  • They use UAS to carry out attacks and incursions into critical infrastructure, soft targets, and public places, as well as to traffic drugs and arms.
  • The declaration asked members to develop measures to deter, detect, and disrupt terrorists’ acquisition and use of drones, as well as to form partnerships with the private sector to do so.
  • Many participants argued for a united front against the drone threat and demanded a regulatory framework that member states could adopt.
  • The declaration also acknowledged that technological advancements may provide significant counter-terrorism opportunities.

Concerning the threat posed by cryptocurrencies

  • The Delhi Declaration requested that member countries consider and assess the risks associated with prepaid cards, virtual assets, and crowdfunding platforms.
  • It urged them to enact risk-based anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, as well as to monitor and supervise providers of relevant services.
  • The declaration acknowledged the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) critical role in this regard.
    • Concerning the issue of terrorist use of the internet and social media
  • The declaration emphasised terrorists’ and their supporters’ increased use of the internet for recruitment and incitement to commit terrorist acts.
  • Attempts to moderate and remove such content have been difficult.
  • One reason for this is the lack of international agreement on what constitutes terrorism.
  • They are also using these platforms to finance, plan, and prepare their activities.
    • Continue to work with the private sector and civil society on a voluntary basis.
  • To develop and implement more effective countermeasures to the use of new and emerging technologies, such as the Internet, for terrorist purposes.

Key points from the Indian EAM’s speech

  • He announced that India will make a $0.5 million voluntary contribution to the UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism this year.
  • EAM advocated for global efforts to prevent non-state actors from misusing encrypted messaging and crypto-currency.
  • He also warned that social media platforms have become powerful tools in the arsenal of terror groups.
  • New and emerging technologies, ranging from virtual private networks and encrypted messaging services to blockchain and virtual currencies, promise a bright future; however, there is a downside, particularly in terms of terrorism.
    • By gaining access to these technologies, lone wolf attackers have significantly increased their capabilities.
    • They use technology, money, and, most importantly, the ethos of open societies to attack freedom, tolerance, and progress.
  • He recalled India’s experience with the 2008 Mumbai attacks, in which Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology was used to organise and direct the attack from outside India’s borders.

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