What are the historical and emerging challenges in the fight against terrorism? In view of India’s upcoming UNSC Presidency, examine the possible areas of action to boost international anti-terror efforts?

The UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee recently held a special meeting in India (CTC).  It addressed the overriding issue of “countering the exploitation of new and developing technology for terrorist goals.”  Additionally, the panel covered the use of drones in modern terrorism as well as the financing of terrorism through cryptocurrency.

Challenges in fight against terrorism:

  • The first obstacle is that the post-9/11 United States’ “Global War on Terrorism” has ended. The United States’ discussions with the Taliban, which led to their eventual withdrawal from Afghanistan, marked the beginning of its end.
  • The international community’s lacklustre response to the Taliban’s occupation of Kabul and persecution of women and minorities in the country demonstrates a growing disinterest in “another country’s problems.”
  • Lack of consensus over the definition of terrorism – The growing global polarisation over the Russia-Ukraine war is diverting attention away from terrorism and blurring the definition of what constitutes terrorism.
  • The UNSC is paralyzed – It has been unable to approve any substantial resolutions that have not been vetoed by Russia or Western members. China has successfully blocked up to five terror designations requested by India and the US.
  • There is no support for the India-led Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

Way forward:

All responsible governments must reach a worldwide consensus on how to regulate the use of emerging technologies. Otherwise, it will be difficult to discern between their usage and that of recognised terror organisations or state-sponsored terrorism.  It is necessary to establish international standards for how to respond to terrorist attacks.


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