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UNSC’s Counter Terrorism Committee To Meet In Indian Cities of Mumbai, Delhi

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The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will conduct its two-day meeting on counterterrorism in the Indian cities of Mumbai and Delhi on the 28th and 29th of October respectively.

The theme of this year’s meeting is ‘countering the use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes’. Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Sanjay Verma said, “it’ll begin with a tribute to victims of terrorism”.

Among those who will attend the meeting is UK foreign secretary James Cleverly.

India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Counter Terrorism Committee Chair, Ruchira Kamboj said that during the last two decades member states have made tangible progress in countering terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism. Yet, the terrorist threat persists and despite our best efforts have evolved.

Focus of the UNSC meeting

Thoughtfully speaking on the issue and at the same time acknowledging the capabilities of technology in intensifying counterterrorism efforts, the Counter Terrorism Committee has come together in India to hold its special meeting on countering use of new and emerging technologies for terrorist purposes, said Kamboj.

“The focus (will be) specifically on rapid development, growing use by member states and increasing threat of use for terrorist purposes of 3 significant technologies – 1) internet, including social media, 2) new payment technologies and fundraising methods, 3) unmanned aerial systems, including drones,” Kamboj added.

The greater goal of the Counter-Terrorism Committee’s historic meeting in Mumbai, according to Verma, would be felt by the rest of the globe because the 2008 attack targeted India’s potential identity in the financial and commercial sectors.

At a briefing held in India’s capital New Delhi, Kamboj outlined areas in the focus of the meeting, she said, “Well, they will focus specifically on the rapid development growing used by Member States and increasing the threat of use for terrorist purposes have three significant technologies. Number one, the internet, including social media, number two new payment technologies and fundraising methods and three unmanned aerial systems including troops.”

On October 28, a solemn ceremony at the Hotel Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai will initiate the “Soft Opening Session and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism,” following which the existing 15 and incoming 5 members of the UN Security Council will pay respects at the 26/11 memorial site.

In response to a query about whether the discussions will center on drone technology and how, as a result of ongoing technological advancements, UAVs are becoming heavier, have longer ranges, and can carry bigger payloads, Head of Branch at UN-CTED, David Scharia, said, “one of the things that India has done about this issue is that it put it through this meeting at the center of the Security Council, this course, and not just for that weekend, for years to come, because hopefully that outcome document will pave the way again, not for the solution, but for how we’re going to approach these problems that are going to remain with us for many years.”

Sanjay Verma responded to a question on the politicization of the UNSC designation process, where nations like China obstruct efforts to designate terrorists, by saying, “The fact that objective listing processes which we have endeavored to initiate with like-minded countries and friends have run into objections on technicalities on subjectivities, which are guided by geostrategic alliances, far removed from the original cause of which the listing was suggested. And till we see an overhaul in the multilateral process, whether in the UN Security Council, or in the larger UN system, I think we will continue to face these challenges.”

Ministerial participants are expected to include HE Michael Moussa ADAMO, Foreign Minister of Gabon (and President of the UNSC), HE Shirley Ayorkar Botchwey, Foreign Minister of Ghana, HE Reem Ebrahim Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation of UAE, among others. 

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