Ansari voices concern over use of terrorism as state policy

World Friday 03/June/2016 21:55 PM
By: Times News Service
Ansari voices concern over use of terrorism as state policy

Tunis: Flagging terrorism as an area of common concern, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Friday voiced concern over the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy by some countries and said the menace can only be defeated by organised international action.
Delivering a lecture on 'India and the World' at the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies here, vice president also spoke on the much-awaited UN reforms and said any global forum which does not include India has limited relevance.
Ansari said that "as one sixth of the humanity and in keeping with the growing capacities and aspirations of our people, India has a much larger role to play in charting a more equitable and sustainable future for our world."
While emerging economies have secured a role in the global economic system, the UN Security Council remains a captive of its five Permanent Members, he added.
"India is not a rejectionist power that stands outside the global order but that her interests lie in working to change reform and improve the global order, which demands increased external engagement within the ambit of a non-intrusive policy," he said.
"India has been a major contributor to international peacekeeping operations under the United Nations flag, has engaged with our partners in shaping the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda, and continues to work with like-minded countries to make the global financial and trade systems more equitable and transparent, and to address our common challenges such as environmental degradation," he said.
On the issue of terrorism, Ansari said that it has "emerged as a principal global challenge. Your country, like my own, has suffered the horrors of this scourge of humanity. Terrorism today has global reach, no city remains safe. There is a new level of threat to pluralist and open societies. Old structures of terrorism also remain."
Ansari said, "There are countries that still use it as an instrument of state policy. There can be no distinction between good and bad terrorists. A terrorist is a terrorist; one who commits crimes against humanity cannot have any religion, or be afforded any political sanctuary."
He said that International terrorism can only be defeated by organised international action.
"We need to restructure the international legal framework such as by adopting a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to deal with the challenges of terrorism," he said and called for increased cooperation in intelligence sharing among societies that stand for peace.
He said all countries should strengthen efforts to prevent supply of arms to terrorists, disrupt terrorist movements, and curb and criminalise terror financing.
"We have to help each other secure our cyber space, and minimize use of internet and social media for terrorist activities," he added.
The vice president said that India had vital stake in the stability, security and economic well-being of West Asia and North African region and was willing to expand its strategic and economic partnership.
"We share common principles and have a similar approach on many issues. India had extended strong support to the Tunisian struggle for freedom, and today, India stands ready again to provide all possible support as you embark on a path of freedom and democracy," he added.
Ansari said that Tunisia can also be a regional hub for trade with both Europe and Africa.
"I see a prosperous and peaceful future as our commercial and political interactions deepen. It will open a new era of peace and prosperity, not only for our two countries but the entire region," he added.
Ansari also said that although inter-state conflicts have admittedly declined, the experience of the past quarter of a century shows the manner in which the expectations of a more comprehensive corrective have been belied.
"There has been a phenomenal increase in lower intensity civil conflicts; an increase in violence against unprotected civilians and some of these conflicts have spilled across state boundaries and their principal victims are civilians."
"We have witnessed the ease with which regional and sub-national conflicts have spiralled into broader conflict and become a global security challenge. These threats are increasingly emanating from non-state sources such as organised crime, organised terrorist outfits and pirates. Even more disturbing is the trend where non-state armed groups appear as parties in violent conflict," he added.
He said the traditional security architecture has been slow to respond to these new realities, even as the economic prominence of new players is remarkably well understood.
"This intransigence has constrained the ability of the established security systems to address the evolving nature of security challenges," the vice president added.
He said that this is the global landscape in which India has endeavoured in recent decades to address its developmental challenges and its role in the world.
"India is recognised as the world leader in the pharmaceutical sector and the Information Technology (IT) domain. Our capability in space technology and nuclear sciences has been recognised globally," he added.
"Our defence capabilities have increased; so has our capacity to provide overseas security and humanitarian support to our friends and those in need. We like to resolve our conflicts peacefully through negotiations but at the same time would like to have an effective and credible deterrence capacity to protect our legitimate interests," he added.
He said that a "peaceful periphery is critical to our success and we believe that the entire South Asian region needs to grow with India for our sustainable prosperity".