The Government of India, for the first time, hosted the special two-day meeting of the United Nations Security Council’s Counter(UNSC)-Terrorism Committee (CTC) on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes.
- The 2-day meeting hosted by the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA), the government of India was held in Mumbai, Maharashtra and New Delhi, Delhi on 28th and 29th October 2022 respectively.
- During the meeting, the non-binding document, known as The Delhi Declaration on countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes was adopted in New Delhi, Delhi.
- This is the first meeting of UNSC-CTC in India since its establishment in 2001. India, a non-permanent member of the UNSC is currently serving as the chair of CTC.
- Ruchira Kamboj, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations(UN) is the chair of the CTC for 2022.
- This is the first time such conference is held outside the UN headquarters in New York, United States of America(USA).
Establishment of CTC:
The Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) was established by the UNSC resolution 1373 (2001) adopted in September 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attack in the USA.
Highlights of UNSC-CTC meeting:
i.The inaugural session of the UNSC CTC meeting was held in Mumbai followed by the diplomatic discussion in Delhi.
ii.The inaugural events of the meeting comprise the soft opening session and tribute to the victims of terrorism in Mumbai, including the victims of the 2008 terrorist attacks on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel.
iii.Heads of delegations of Security Council members, Vladimir Voronkov, Under Secretary General, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, and Weixiong Chen, Acting Executive Director of the UNSC CTC Executive Directorate (CTED), Michael Moussa Adamo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Gabon and the President of Security Council for October delivered the statements on behalf of the Council members.
iv.Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister of India also delivered a special statement.
v.The opening session followed an informal briefing on combatting terrorism financing in local and regional contexts.
vi.The special meeting was held with a specific focus on three significant areas where emerging technologies are experiencing rapid development and growing use by Member States (including for security and counter-terrorism purposes), and the increasing threat of abuse for terrorism purposes,
- The Internet and social media,
- Terrorism financing,
- Unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
The Delhi Declaration:
Following a series of panels involving the representatives of UNSC member states, UN officials, civil society entities, the private sector, and researchers, the Delhi Declaration committing Member States to prevent and combat digital forms of terror, notably using drones, social media, and online terrorist financing was adopted.
- The Delhi Declaration calls on all the members of the UNSC to ensure zero tolerance towards terrorism.
- The declaration aims to cover the main concerns surrounding the abuse of drones, social media platforms, and crowdfunding, and create guidelines that will support tackling the growing issue.
Highlights of the Delhi Declaration:
- In the Delhi Declaration, the members of the UNSC have agreed that guidelines and implemented actions should be based on international law and human rights.
- The declaration also highlighted that the members of CTC will draft recommendations to counter the terrorist exploitation of Information and Communications Technology, such as payment technologies and fundraising methods and misuse of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones.
- This will also assist the members in implementing all relevant UNSC resolutions to counter the use of technologies for terrorist purposes while respecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Takeaways of the Delhi Declaration:
- Terrorism in all forms and manifestations is one of the serious threats. The acts of terrorism, regardless of their motivations, whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed are criminal and unjustifiable.
- Members of the UNSC are obligated to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts and to refrain from providing support to entities or persons involved in such acts
India to Contribute USD 500,000 to UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism
EAM S Jaishankar announced that India will contribute USD 500000(half a million) to the United Nations Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism which will be used towards the efforts of the Office of Counter-Terrorism in providing capacity-building support to member states in preventing and countering the threat of terrorism.
- The fund will be used to strengthen the UNSC’s fight against terrorism.
- This announcement was made during the plenary session of the UNSC CTSC meeting held in New Delhi, Delhi.
- EAM noted that new technologies such as encrypted messaging services and blockchain are misused by terror groups. This sparks the urgent need for the international community to adopt measures to combat the threats.