N-terrorism a global threat, needs global response: India
Describing nuclear terrorism as a global threat, India on Wednesday called for a comprehensive global response to counter it.
Inaugurating a three-day meeting of the Implementation and Assessment Group of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) here, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said that though there were 13 instruments that were widely accepted as benchmarks for a state's commitment to combat terrorism, what was more important was that adhering parties display the required sincerity to implement their commitment.
"The dangers of discriminating among terrorists -- good or bad or even yours and mine -- are increasingly recognised," he said.
"Terrorism is an international threat that should not serve national strategy. Nuclear terrorism even more so."
GICNT is a voluntary international partnership of 86 nations and five international organisations that are committed to strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism. It works towards this goal by conducting multilateral activities that strengthen the plans, policies, procedures, and interoperability of partner nations.
Stating that nuclear power would continue to play an important role in the world's quest for clean energy, Jaishankar said that "the negative consequences of atomic power also cannot be ignored".
"Events that have unfolded around us, more so in the past couple of decades, have highlighted that terrorism remains the most pervasive and serious challenge to international security," he said.
"If access to nuclear technology changes state behaviour, it is only to be expected that it would also impact on non-state calculations. Nuclear security, therefore, will be a continuing concern, especially as terrorist groups and non-state actors strike deeper roots and explore different avenues to spread terror. Developing a comprehensive global response is the highest priority."
The Foreign Secretary said there were two aspects to this challenge.
"The first is to clamp down on terrorism in general and the second to restrict unauthorised access to nuclear technology and material," he said, adding that the GICNT was expected to play an important role in providing an effective international platform for consolidating and disseminating the technical expertise and best practices to respond to malicious acts by terrorists.
Stating that though responsible countries provided political commitments to assure each other that they would protect nuclear material under their control from falling into the wrong hands, Jaishankar said that treaties like the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism (ICSANT) and the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM) and its amendment provided a firm basis for translating broader political commitments into legally binding measures.
"As a state party to these instruments, India has demonstrated its faith in these instruments and believes that their universalisation is a global good," he said.
"Effective implementation of the obligations under UN Security Council Resolutions 1540 and 1373 is another important pillar in the fight against terrorism and proliferation of WMD (weapons of mass destruction)."
Jaishankar also referred to the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) proposed by India at the UN in 1996 and called for the quick adoption of this critical measure.
"The existence of a number of conventions and treaties dealing with nuclear terrorism underscores the fact that there is no one instrument that can deal with this issue in a holistic manner," he stated.
"The march of globalisation means that combating nuclear terrorism in isolation or as part of a small group is unlikely to yield the desired results. This is where the GICNT plays an important role as it works towards building worldwide communities of experts and practitioners in order to have a consistent and coherent approach towards the issue of nuclear terrorism."