India wants 'zero tolerance' to terrorism

United Nations: India on Wednesday asked members of the UN Security Council to adopt an "ambitious" outcome document that emphasizes "zero tolerance" to terrorism, saying terrorists have continued to take innocent lives from Moscow to Mumbai in the decade following the 9/11 attacks.

India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri, who is also Chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the UN Security Council, today told a special meeting here that 9/11 symbolizes "neither the beginning nor the end of terrorism."

"It is my expectation that our deliberations today will usher in a new qualitative and substantive improvement in the normative framework and we will adopt an ambitious outcome document that, will introduce a new 'zero tolerance' paradigm in the international community's fight against terrorism," Puri said.

He was speaking at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the adoption of Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) and establishment of the Counter- Terrorism Committee, set up in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Puri told the high-level meeting that there is hardly any region of the world that has not been scarred by terrorism during the past decade.

"The events in Abuja, Baghdad, Bali, Kabul, London, Madrid, Moscow, and Mumbai?to mention a few?are but footnotes to the tremendous personal tragedies involved."

While great progress has been made in the past decade to combat terrorism, more needs to be done "squarely and decisively" against the terrorist of today who is waging an "asymmetric warfare against the international community."

"Today, terrorists are ...truly globalised. They recruit in one country, raise funds in another and operate in others. They have global logistical and supply chains, they have developed transnational financial systems, they use the latest and most sophisticated technologies and have command and control mechanisms that are able to operate across continents on a real-time basis," Puri said.

He said among the challenges facing the world community include the need to effectively address new threats by terrorist groups, that use new information and communication technologies for recruitment, incitement and fundraising.

Challenges also remain in the area of countering terrorist financing, including the need to monitor more effectively new payment methods, informal money and value transfer systems and use of cash couriers.

The problem of securing porous land and sea borders remains another major challenge for many countries.

Puri said there is need for introduction of new counter- terrorism measures which uphold the rule of law and are compliant with obligations of the countries under international laws.

He noted that resolution 1373 brought an increasing sense of solidarity and intensified dialogue among member nations concerning the threat posed by international terrorism and the means to confront it effectively.

As of September 11 2001, only two states were signatories to all the 12 UN conventions relating to terrorism. That number has now grown to 111.

In addition, a significant number of countries have signed the four additional international instruments which have been added to complement the legislative regime.

Pointing out that a lot of ground has been covered to deal with the menace of terrorism, Puri said countries have established Financial Intelligence Units and other mechanisms to monitor and guard more effectively against terrorist financing and money laundering.