Flagging terrorism as an area of common concern, Vice President Hamid Ansari Friday voiced concern over the use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy by some countries. Ansari said the menace of terrorism could 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.”
In an apparent reference to Pakistan, he 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.