Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari made a strong anti-terror pitch at the NAM summit in Venezuela and called for “concrete action” to fight against the menace.
VP Ansari also asked the 120-nation group to set up a mechanism to ensure effective cooperation in combating terrorism.
VP Ansari, who is leading the Indian delegation at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in the absence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said terrorism is one of the “most egregious sources of human right violations today” and its use as an instrument of state policy is to be unequivocally condemned.
The time has come “for our movement to recognise the need for concrete action in the fight against terrorism”, Ansari said while addressing the plenary meeting of the bloc.
“We need to establish a mechanism within our movement that will ensure effective cooperation in combating terrorism, that is the main threat to security, sovereignty and development,” he said.
Describing terrorism as the “biggest threat” to international peace and to the sovereignty of states, Ansari asserted that no cause justifies the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians as a means to achieve a political goal or change of policies. He also stated that terrorism was a major impediment to development.
“It is therefore imperative for the Non-Aligned Movement to galvanise the international community to strengthen the international legal framework to address this menace, including by adopting the draft Comprehensive UN Convention on Terrorism, to ensure the closest cooperation amongst the international community to counter the scourge of terror,” he said.
“We must also ensure that all existing structures that are the building blocks of UN’s Global Counter Terrorism Strategy function in a non-partisan and professional manner,” Ansari said.
Earlier, during NAM’s Foreign Ministers’ meeting, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar had also called on NAM to set up a “working group on terrorism” to safeguard world peace, stability and prosperity.
“Governments which think they can pay lip service to sanity at a NAM summit, and continue to arm, shelter and exploit terrorists in a war by other means, when they return home will learn that you cannot sip on poison and hope to live,” Akbar had said in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
Ansari, in his address, also strongly flagged the issue of UN reforms and called for immediate reforms to the world body.
“Our theme for the next three years – Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development – is in congruence with our founding principles,” VP Ansari said.
He described sustainable development as the bedrock and the highest aspiration of NAM countries’ efforts and emphasised on the importance of solidarity that the movement attaches to achieving it.
Concluding his address, Ansari said as the largest peace movement of the world, NAM must be in the vanguard of the principal international debates on political, strategic and even economic and social issues.
(With inputs from PTI)