India Urges ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Terrorism at UN, Highlighting Decades of Concern

Agencies

India’s permanent representative to the United Nations Ruchira Kamboj on Friday highlighted the role of the illicit traffic of small arms and light in the sustenance of conflicts by armed and terrorist groups.

Kamboj said the increase in volume and the quality of the arsenal acquired by such terrorist organisations is a reminder that they enjoy the support and sponsorship of states. She was speaking at the UNSC Open Debate on Small Arms.

“Having fought the scourge of terrorism for several decades. India is aware of the perils of the diversion and illicit transfer of small arms and ammunition to armed non-state actors and terrorists,” she said. “We have suffered immensely due to cross-border terrorism and violence carried out by terrorist groups using these illicit weapons smuggled across our borders, including now through the use of drones,” she added

Kamboj added: “The increase in volume and the quality of the arsenal acquired by these terrorist organizations reminds us time and again that they cannot exist without the sponsorship or support of states.”

The Indian foreign service officer called upon the UN to exercise zero tolerance against terror groups and their sponsors.

“The illicit traffic of small arms and light weapons and related ammunition is a key enabler for sustaining conflicts by armed and terrorist groups. This necessitates the need for coordinated efforts by states to limit the acquisition of small arms and light weapons by such actors. It is therefore important that this council exercise a zero tolerance for terror actors and their sponsors, their possession and misuse of small arms and light weapons,” Kamboj said.

The diplomat also asserted the need for international cooperation to identify diversion points and trafficking routes around the world.

“International cooperation is essential in strengthening existing mechanisms for information exchange to identify diversion points, trafficking routes, customs control, cross border cooperation, etcetera, to prevent diversion and the illicit transfers of small arms and life weapons and their ammunition.”

She said that India supports the redoubling of efforts at the national and global levels to strengthen the implementation of the UN program of Action and the international tracing instrument, including through national legislative measures and enforcement, exporter controls information sharing and capacity building.

“India maintains strict, export controls over all munitions and related items, including small arms and light weapons. Our commitment is also reflected in India’s participation in the Wassenaar Arrangement. As plenary chair for the year 20-23, India remains committed to work towards a further strengthening of the global non proliferation architecture, including in the area of small arms and light weapons,” Kamboj said.

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