'Need to strengthen enforcement to destroy terror safe havens'



United Nations: Describing terrorism as a "horrendous scourge", India, which chairs the UNSC's Counter Terrorism Committee, has underlined the need to strengthen enforcement efforts to destroy safe havens for terrorists, besides enhancing global cooperation to remove legal ambiguities through which they gain legitimacy.

"We need to expand the normative framework and strengthen enforcement efforts to destroy safe havens for terrorists, their financial flows and their support networks," India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said.

Puri described terrorism as a "horrendous scourge", saying the world needs to adopt a holistic zero-tolerance approach towards terrorism.

"Terrorists are not only globalised, but are waging an asymmetric warfare against the international community. Terrorists have made borders irrelevant and are adept in exploiting advances in technology. They recruit in one country, raise funds in another and operate in others. Statistics would indicate that the share of terrorism in global violence is at an all-time high," Puri, Chair of the UN Security Council's Counter Terrorism Committee (CTC), said.

He made the comments at the meeting of NATO and Ambassadors from the Partnership for Peace countries within the framework of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in Brussels today.

He said the situation is further compounded with the increasing ability of terrorist to inflict catastrophic damage to critical infrastructure.

Puri said while progress has been made in combating the threat of terrorism, efforts of the international community continue to face many challenges.

"Foremost is the need to remove the moral and legal ambiguities that allow terrorists to gain succour and even legitimacy," he said.

He noted that progress under mutual legal assistance and extradition cases is still "sketchy" and yet to be fully mainstreamed as part of regional and international counter-terrorism efforts.

Stressing that a large number of terrorist plots can be neutralised by international cooperation, Puri said success in the fight against terrorism goes hand-in-hand with progress in strengthening counter-terrorism cooperation and exchange of information at the international, regional and sub-regional level.

"The mechanisms that have been developed to pool the resources and the knowledge of the international community needs to be augmented and made more effective." he said.

Puri added that terrorism has to be confronted with resolute determination, not only by governments, but also by societies where preventive aspect needs much greater attention than ever before.

Security Council resolutions as well as the universally agreed Global Counter Terrorism Strategy recognise that terrorism would not be defeated by military means, law enforcement measures and intelligence operations alone.

"Meeting violence with greater violence can never provide a lasting solution. The recent developments in West Asia and North Africa demonstrate that peaceful and non-violent mobilisation of a population can be a more effective instrument of social change than violence," he said.

Describing NATO as an important partner for the CTC in efforts to deal with the terrorist threat, Puri said there is need to consider expanding synergies in areas of capacity-building, training and technical assistance.

PTI