General Assembly Security Council


Statement by Mr. Vinod Kumar, Additional Secretary (International Organization), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India during the Open debate in the United Nations Security Council on the question of ‘Foreign Terrorist Fighters’ on Setember 24, 2014


Madam President,


We would like to thank you for organizing this open debate. It not only allows us to focus on the multidimensional and evolving threat from the ‘FTF’, but also underscores the need to correctly contextualize the problem and build the right narrative in order to ensure sustained focus to address this challenge. It must be mentioned that while the current intensity of focus on ‘FTF’, including the UN Security Council Resolution, is rather recent, the threat in itself is of some vintage.


2.   Foreign terrorist fighters is only one facet of the broader challenge of international terrorism.  It is, nevertheless, one that needs to be addressed and the Security Council is to be commended for establishing a new legal and normative framework to address this issue.  The FTF phenomenon is a manifestation of the growing threat from international terrorism to international peace and security. It is evidence that the supply chain of terrorism including radicalization, recruitment, financing, planning, and communication is now global.


3. The resilience and evolution of the threat also underscores what we have maintained and advocated all along; the need to eschew segmented and partial approaches. In addition to responding to specific aspects of the FTF phenomenon globally, we need to comprehensively deal with the twin challenges of sophisticated world-wide economic and operational infrastructure of terrorism and inter-linkages between the global terror networks. 


4. Internationally, the emerging dimensions of the FTF threat also brings into sharp relevance the global agenda on Countering Terrorism as universally agreed under the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy of 2006 and its recent review held earlier this year. More than anything else, it underscores the need for a comprehensive international normative framework to combat terrorism. We feel that the time is ripe for us to make expeditious progress and conclude the draft Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) piloted by us in 1996. We cannot permit ourselves the luxury of endless theoretical debate.  The price that we will pay for procrastination will be in human lives.  The General Assembly needs to come to an agreement by consensus on a Comprehensive Convention to outlaw international terrorism.


5.  In addition, given various facets of the FTF challenge, including its transnational nature, and the fact that no country is insular from this threat, robust international cooperation, with clear operational modalities, including for information sharing, tracking travel routes, recruitment networks, communication methods and financing channels is an imperative that we all need to pursue with focus and vigour. It is also necessary for the States to ensure that their territories are not used to indoctrinate, train, equip and finance the terrorists.


6.  We also need to work both individually and collectively to challenge and repudiate the terrorist narrative.  We condemn terrorism and believe that no cause or grievance can justify taking recourse to terrorism.



7. We in India remain concerned about the FTF phenomenon and its impact on security of the countries internationally. We believe that it is important to address this challenge in the larger context of terrorism, and are taking such steps as are necessary to deal with this challenge. Just yesterday, the Global Counter Terrorism Forum adopted the Hague-Marakesh Memorandum on Best Practices to deal with the problem of Foreign Terrorist Fighters. The resolution that the Security Council has adopted today is far reaching.  It should provide a framework for collective and individual action to address the menace of foreign terrorist fighters, laying down a permanent obligation on all member states.  We hope it will be followed up and effectively implemented.  The international community has to back its words with deeds. The resolution is a useful addition to the legal framework to deal with the scourge of terrorism. 


8.  Let me once again thank you Madam President for giving us this opportunity to contribute to this debate.