Mumbai still haunts India; declare Pakistan a ‘rogue state’
by Rajnath Singh on 09 Oct 2010 13 Comments

Madam Chairperson,

I will deliver my statement in Hindi. Not only is Hindi our national language, but it is also one of the five most spoken languages and is the nearest sister of Sanskrit, one of the oldest spoken languages of the world, whose literature has given us the concept of ‘Vasudev Kutumbkam’, the entire world is one family. I am following the tradition of my leader and former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who was the first Indian Foreign Minister to give a speech in Hindi at the UN in 1978.


I hope that UN will also make Hindi one of its official languages in the near future in order to acknowledge the aspirations of largest democracy of the world in true sense….


I thank the Secretary General for his annual report on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism which contains important and valuable information about the measures taken by States at the national level as well as by the UN system and other international organizations for the prevention and suppression of international terrorism…


Madam Chairperson, India attaches highest importance to the agenda item relating to “Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism” presently under consideration before this Committee. Terrorism is a crime against humanity. It is the most vicious amongst international crimes. It affects us all equally. It is a scourge that open democratic societies have to contend with and the challenge is to maintain our openness, safeguard individual rights, and at the same time, give no quarter to terrorists. The international community therefore needs to marshal all its efforts and resources to combat this scourge.


As you are aware, India has been a victim of terrorism for decades. The people of India continue to pay a heavy price in our fight against terrorism. The haunting memories of horrific terrorist attacks in Mumbai in the year 2008, which was planned and executed from across the border, and witnessed by the whole world on television, are still alive. We are determined to confront these challenges unshakably and decisively.


Madam Chairperson, We align with the statement made by Iran on behalf of NAM. No cause could ever justify the indiscriminate killing of innocent peoples. Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for whatever purposes, wherever, by whomever, against whomever committed, are in any circumstances unjustifiable, whatever the considerations or factors that may be invoked to justify them.


The Declaration on Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism adopted by UNGA Resolution 49/60 condemns international terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The Declaration also unequivocally condemns all acts, methods and practices of terrorism as criminal and unjustifiable, whenever and by whoever committed. States are also obliged to refrain from organizing, acquiescing in or encouraging activities within their territories directed towards the commission of such acts. States are also obliged to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist installations or training camps or for the preparation or organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other States or their citizens. If this happens, then the UNGA or the Security Council must take strong action.


Madam Chairperson, Terrorism poses a grave threat to all States and all societies. It undermines peace, democracy and freedom thus endangering the very foundations of the continued existence of democratic societies. Terrorism is a global threat and requires a coordinated and concerted global response to combat it. In this context in addition to the urgent need to conclude and adopt the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, we support the recent second review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy and the institutionalization of the CTITF. 


Madam Chairperson, At the National level we have taken many steps to strengthen international cooperation in combating terrorism. Apart from strengthening our strategic and operational framework to combat terrorism effectively, we have also amended and strengthened our national legislation entitled Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 by integrating in it a mechanism for the effective enforcement of the measures adopted by the 1267 Committee against designated individuals and entities. The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act incorporates provisions that deal with all aspects of terrorism including incitement. The Act also criminalizes raising of funds for terrorist activities, holding of proceeds of terrorism, harbouring of terrorists, unauthorized possession of any bomb, dynamite or hazardous explosive substance or other lethal weapon or substance capable of mass destruction or biological or chemical substance of warfare.


We have concluded bilateral treaties with many countries in the areas of combating terrorism, organized crime, money laundering, terrorist financing and illicit drug trafficking. We also have in place treaties on extradition and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters to further strengthen and enhance international cooperation efforts in this regard. These treaties facilitate transfer of fugitive offenders and suspected terrorists to stand trial in the State in which the offence is committed and in their effective prosecution. These treaties also facilitate exchange of operational information and development of joint programs among concerned States. 


At the international level, India has become party to 13 sectoral conventions on terrorism that have been adopted under the auspices of the United Nations. In relation to a specific activity, these conventions remain fundamental tools in the fight against terrorism. India has also become an active member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). We have always fulfilled our obligations under international and regional conventions and relevant Security Council resolutions on international terrorism.


Madam Chairperson, Now coming to the draft Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism, I am happy to note that the Ad-Hoc Committee that met in April this year witnessed some forward momentum as some delegations have shown better understanding and flexibility. Reflecting on the general sense of the debate that time, the Chairman of the Ad-Hoc Committee also advised delegations, and subsequently made a personal appeal to the Legal Advisers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to come prepared to take necessary decisions and move forward.


During the General Debate in the 65th Session of the General Assembly last month, many States have reiterated their support for the successful and early adoption of the draft CCIT. The Secretary General’s report on the review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy is very important. The Secretary General very aptly pointed out in paragraph 139 of his report that “the comprehensiveness of implementing the Strategy will not be complete without the conclusion of the comprehensive convention on international terrorism. As committed in the Strategy, Member States should make every effort to reach an agreement on the text and conclude the convention in order to unite behind the global counter-terrorism efforts. The recent Security Council Presidential statement also encourages Member States to make every effort to conclude the negotiations of the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.


Madam Chairperson, All these appeals and expectations expressed at various levels only remind us that we have already lost invaluable time in taking a concrete decision on this important issue and that the international community cannot afford to wait any longer at a time when there is the most urgent need to show solidarity and collective global action against international terrorism and to send a clear message that terrorism cannot be tolerated in any form or manifestation for whatever cause.


Madam Chairperson, The negotiations over the years have by and large got a near full text of the proposed Convention with general agreement. There remain just a few outstanding issues in Article 18. We look forward to the Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee to guide us in agreeing to a full text that can be recommended by us for adoption in this Session itself. We would also strongly urge delegations to show flexibility and reach a common understanding on the text so that we can move forward and fulfill the expectations of the Secretary General, the Security Council, and of the international community as a whole.


I have full confidence that we will eventually succeed in our struggle against terrorism. There is a need to address terrorism not only at the governmental or political levels but also at the intellectual level. The mindset of attaining goals through violent means will have to be changed. Towards this end, there is a need to raise awareness in the society about the thoughts of eminent personalities like Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi. With our thousands of years of tradition of harmonizing divergent streams of thoughts, culture of non-violence and non-aggression, India could make significant contribution in the fight against terrorism not only at the political level but also at the intellectual level.


Thank you, Madam Chairperson.


[Excerpts from the speech by Mr Rajnath Singh, former BJP president, at the UN General Assembly on 7 Oct. 2010]

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