General Assembly Security Council

UNSC Briefing on

‘Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts’

(10 February 2021)


India Statement


Ambassador T.S. Tirumurti

Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations


Thank you, Madam President.


At the outset, I would like to thank Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, USG UNOCT, Ms. Michele Coninsx, Executive Director CTED for their briefings on the 12th report of the Secretary General on the threat posed by ISIL (Da’esh) to international peace and security.


2.       The Secretary General’s periodic report on ISIL is an important tool for member states to reflect on the threat posed by ISIL and strategize a collective approach towards global terrorism. We appreciate the activities undertaken by various UN entities, including UNOCT and CTED, to help build the capacity of member states to counter this threat. We also acknowledge the important role played by the UN Global Counter Terrorism Coordination Compact, under the Chairmanship of Mr. Voronkov, in ensuring coordination and coherence amongst all the implementing agencies through its thematic working groups.


Madam President,


3.       It is an undeniable fact that terrorism continues to pose the gravest threat to humankind. Terrorism not only grievously impacts human life but also uproots the very foundation of humanity. Let me take this opportunity to convey our sincere condolences to all countries, including our immediate neighbor Afghanistan, which continues to suffer from cross border and international terrorism.


4.       The current report of the Secretary General on ISIL reiterates the necessity of a forceful and decisive global fight against terrorism. The report makes it amply clear that despite its territorial defeat, ISIL (Da’esh) activities are on the rise, and its presence and activities are affecting significant parts of Africa, beyond its core area of operations in Syria and Iraq.  The Covid-19 pandemic has further resulted in terrorism getting a fillip across the world.  


5.      Easy access to new and emerging technologies, including drones, virtual currencies, encrypted communications, and artificial intelligence (AI) has enabled ISIL and other terrorist groups to adapt to the pandemic-affected world and exploit current conditions to their advantage. Social media networks have also contributed to the radicalization and recruitment of youth. These new methods have resulted in greater freedom and tactical autonomy to ISIL affiliates.


6. As a result, ISIL is gaining strength not only in Syria and Iraq, but also in Yemen, Sahel, West Africa, and Central Africa region. Al Qaeda, Haqqani Network, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashkar-e-Taiba continue to flourish and operate with impunity in the AfPak region. The modus operandi of ISIL has also changed, as is evident from the lone wolf attacks occurring in Europe. This changed and reinvigorated ISIL poses a new set of challenges to our collective efforts in our fight against ISIL and terrorism.


7.       The UNSG’s report also provides an account of activities of ISIL-K, including the appointment of its new leader, Shahab al-Mujahir. He has close links with the proscribed Haqqani Network and earlier operated in the Af-Pak region as an Al Qaida commander.  It is essential that we don’t lose sight of the ease with which the proscribed Haqqani Network and its supporters, especially with support from Pakistani authorities, have worked along with prominent terrorist organizations like Al-Qaida, ISIL K, etc. in South Asia. In our view, the UNSG’s report on ISIL should also cover activities of the proscribed terrorist entities under ISIL and Al Qaida Sanctions regime like Lashkar-e-Taiba and other Pakistan based terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and frontal organizations that raise funds for their activities. The world is fully aware that these groups also perpetrate terrorist activities from safe havens in Pakistan, including through violent attacks in Afghanistan that have disrupted the peace process. We are also witnessing the relocation of terror groups to Afghanistan especially in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, across the Durand line. To not name them in this report is doing a disservice as it gives only a partial and a biased view of the situation in the region.


Madam President,


8.       For the UN system to effectively address the threats posed by terrorists, I would like to reiterate the urgent need for implementing the eight-point action plan that India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar, had offered on 12th January to this august Council:


  • Summon the political will: don’t justify terrorism, don’t glorify terrorists
  • No double standards. Terrorists are terrorists. Distinction should not be made on whether good or bad.
  • Don’t place blocks and holds on listing requests without any reason.
  • discourage exclusivist thinking
  • enlist and delist objectively, not on political or religious considerations
  • recognize the linkage to organized crime
  • support and strengthen the FATF
  • Provide greater funding to UN office of Counter Terrorism

It is imperative therefore to collectively build on these principles in ensuring that we are able to defeat the scourge of terrorism for good.


9. We welcome the global programs launched by UNOCT to assist member states in building their capacities to prevent and counter terrorism and acknowledge the direct utility of the Global Countering Terrorist Travel Program and the Global Program on Countering the Financing of Terrorism to prevent and detect travel of foreign terrorists and funding of terrorist entities respectively. We also believe that enhanced UN coordination with FATF would go a long way in effectively countering terrorism. We however ask UNOCT to tread carefully on efforts by countries to change the narrative on terrorism to suit their narrow ends and undercut our collective efforts.


10. We also attach importance to the role played by UNOCT in building the capacity of member states both through its capacity building arm UNCCT and through its work with other UN agencies in the Global Counter Terrorism Coordination Compact. India had also contributed to the UN CT Trust Fund for UNOCT to implement capacity building projects in the Eastern and Southern African countries on border management and countering financing of terrorism.


11.     In conclusion, Madam President, we reiterate our full support for counter terrorism cooperation under the auspices of the UN. India has been at the forefront of global counter terrorism efforts, has taken part in all major global initiatives against international terrorism and is party to all United Nations’ sectoral conventions relating to terrorism.


I thank you Madam President.