Mukherjee urges ASEM
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Mukherjee urges ASEM to commit fully to UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy
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Mukherjee urges ASEM to commit fully to UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday urged foreign ministers attending the eighth ASEM deliberations in Hamburg, Germany to get their governments and the rest of the world community to abide by their commitment enshrined in the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2006.

New Delhi, May 30 : External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday urged foreign ministers attending the eighth ASEM deliberations in Hamburg, Germany to get their governments and the rest of the world community to abide by their commitment enshrined in the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2006.

He also appealed to them to refrain from organizing, instigating, facilitating, participating in, financing, encouraging or tolerating terrorist activities and to take appropriate measures to ensure that their territories are not used for terrorist installations or training camps or for the perpetration or organization of terrorist acts intended to be committed against other States or their citizens.

"Terrorist acts anywhere, whether in Mumbai and Hyderabad or in Bali and London, endanger the peace and security of all States. The possibility that terrorists may acquire and use weapons of mass destruction has added an alarming new dimension to this threat," Mukherjee said, adding that the international community has long recognized that terrorism requires a comprehensive and multi-pronged global response.

"All of us must continue to strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes. We must make it absolutely clear that no cause or grievance can ever justify acts of terrorism. We must also take steps to deny funds to terrorists and dismantle their financing channels," he said.

India, he said, regards combating the financing of terrorism as a crucial element of its counter-terrorism strategy.

"We are an observer at the Financial Action Task Force and are working towards joining it as a member. The Financial Intelligence Unit of India is an observer at the EGMONT Group and is working towards joining it as a member. We are also a member of the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering," he said.

He said that India has lived with cross-border terrorism for over two decades.

"Recent terrorist acts, like the blast a few days ago in a mosque in Hyderabad and bomb explosions last February in two compartments of the Samjhauta Express, which provides a rail link between India and Pakistan, only reflect the painful reality that terrorism continues to pose a grave threat to India's security and communal harmony," he added.

Without naming Pakistan, Mukherjee said that, "Despite repeated assurances, the infiltration of terrorists from across India's borders continues. The infrastructure to support terrorist organizations and activities has also not been fully dismantled. Ending cross-border terrorism remains for India a principal goal and challenge."

India, he said, believes that the United Nations has a crucial role to play in global efforts towards combating terrorism.

"Over a decade ago, we presented the draft of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in 1996. It is unfortunate that in spite of the commitment of member States, as reflected in the 2005 World Summit Outcome, to conclude negotiations on this Convention, some contentious issues till remain unresolved. We remain actively engaged with other member States of the UN with the objective of its expeditious finalization," he said.

He said India remains committed to fully implementing the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We have joined all the 13 International Conventions related to counter-terrorism, including the recently adopted International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism.

"India has also been playing an active role in forging regional cooperation in combating terrorism. We have been conscious of the role that multilateral and regional fora like the NAM, SAARC, ARF and ASEM, can play in global efforts for combating terrorism. We regard the member States of the ASEAN and the EU as our partners and allies in countering terrorism. We are working towards strengthening cooperation among SAARC member States and the full and effective implementations of the SAARC Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its protocol.

As part of our endeavour to work with our partners in global counter-terrorism efforts, we have entered into Joint Working Groups (JWGs) with 25 countries and 2 international organizations - the EU and the BIMSTEC. These JWGs meet regularly for coordinating and cooperating in counter-terrorism efforts."

ANI

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