India calls for zero tolerance on terrorism

India on Monday called on the international community to join forces to dismantle terrorist sanctuaries and adopt a "zero tolerance" approach towards terrorism.

United Nations: India on Monday called on the international community to join forces to dismantle terrorist sanctuaries and adopt a "zero tolerance" approach towards terrorism, which continues to be the "most potent" threat to global peace and security.

In his address to the 67th session of the UN General Assembly here, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said the global community should not waste any further time on putting in place the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

"Terrorism remains one of the most potent threats to international peace and security," Krishna said.

"The international community must adopt a zero tolerance approach towards terrorism and focus on efforts to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism including its invidious network of epicentres, training facilities and financing," Krishna said in his 20-minute address.

He also voiced concern over the continuing existence of "safe havens and sanctuaries" for terrorists "beyond Afghanistan`s borders" saying these remain major impediments to the restoration of peace and security in the war-torn country.

Krishna said it is "high time" the nations demonstrated the necessary political will and agreed on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to "strengthen the normative framework against the increasingly sophisticated and globalised terrorist challenge."

Krishna stressed on the need for forging a renewed consensus on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament as well as a meaningful dialogue among all states possessing nuclear weapons to build trust and confidence and for reducing the salience of nuclear weapons in international affairs and security doctrines.

"Measures must be taken to reduce nuclear risks, including the grave risks posed by terrorists gaining access to weapons of mass destruction, thus strengthening nuclear security," he said.

Noting that India remains committed to achieving a nuclear weapons-free world, Krishna said the principles of the Rajiv Gandhi Action Plan of 1988 for achieving nuclear disarmament in a time-bound, non-discriminatory and phased manner remains relevant even after more than two decades.

In the backdrop of the growing problem of piracy in international waters, Krishna said India is gravely concerned by the menace of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

He noted that apart from major economic and commercial consequences, the "scourge" of piracy has serious humanitarian implications for the large number of seafarers held hostage by the pirates.

"The need of the hour is once again concerted international action, under the UN auspices, with special attention being paid to address the welfare of seafarers and their families," he said.

India termed peacekeeping and disarmament as among the most unique pursuits of the UN.

However inadequate resources carry the risk of impeding peacekeeping operations in the current environment, Krishna said.

"The challenge before the international community today is to ensure that UN peacekeeping is adequately resourced and enabled to meet the realities of today, including in post-conflict and peace building contexts," he said.

"In this regard, we are hopeful that progress will be made in all outstanding issues between Sudan and South Sudan," Krishna added.