In message to Pakistan, India highlights cross-border terrorism and arms smuggling to UN

TS Tirumurti is the Permanent Representative of India to the UN. (File photo)

The United Nations:

India has suffered tremendously for several decades as a result of cross-border terrorism perpetrated by terrorist groups using illicit weapons smuggled across the country’s borders, New Delhi’s envoy to the United Nations said – the comment considered a message to Pakistan – as he called on the world community to “unequivocally” condemn state sponsorship to such terrorist groups.

During the United Nations Security Council briefing on “Small Arms and Light Weapons”, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations Ambassador, TS Tirumurti, strongly emphasized the need for the Council to focus on the transfer and trafficking of arms and arms to terrorists and terrorist groups.

“These weapons are becoming increasingly sinister and deadly in the hands of terrorists, who use them deliberately and indiscriminately to target innocent civilians, including women and children,” he said.

“For several decades, my country has suffered enormously from cross-border terrorism and the violence perpetrated by terrorist groups using these illicit weapons smuggled across our borders, now including through the use of drones,” he said. he stated, in a veiled reference to Pakistan. .

He said that an increase in the volume and 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. This aspect must be unequivocally condemned. “.

He also urged the Council to have “zero tolerance” towards terrorist actors, their possession and misuse of small arms and light weapons and their sponsors.

High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told the Council that the misuse, illicit transfer and destabilizing accumulation of small arms and light weapons, and their ammunition, remain a key factor in undermining peace and security at national, regional and global levels and have deeply aggravated situations for vulnerable populations already victims of conflict.

“In contexts where United Nations peace operations have been mandated, illicit flows and the ready availability of weapons can exacerbate and sustain conflict dynamics; make arms embargoes ineffective; endanger peacekeepers, aid workers and local populations; and complicate the implementation of peace agreements, ”she added. noted.

Nakamitsu added that small arms control measures, in particular, the development and implementation of security and border management strategies; efforts to detect and seize parts and components of weapons and ammunition; improved inventory management; and the fight against the illicit manufacture of weapons are effective tools to disrupt the supply of illicit small arms and light weapons to terrorists.

Mr. Tirumurti stressed that the threat posed by the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons is a matter of concern for the entire international community.

Noting that an arms embargo is an important tool at the Council’s disposal to curb the flow of such arms to situations of armed conflict, he expressed concern that embargoes continue to be violated in such a manner. flagrant, as repeatedly pointed out by the various expert groups supporting the subsidiary bodies of the Council.

“It is important that all member states respect and strictly enforce existing arms embargoes and strengthen measures against the illicit transfer of arms,” ​​he said, stressing that it is well known that the flow of arms weapons and illicit weapons to non-state actors and terrorists drive and maintain conflict.

Mr. Tirumurti told the Council that the illicit possession and misuse of small arms and light weapons by non-state groups and terrorists constitute a violation of state sovereignty.

“In post-conflict situations, we often find that non-state actors continue to illegally possess these weapons, hampering disarmament, demobilization and reintegration efforts.

India called on the Security Council to take effective and swift action against these non-state actors to ensure that post-conflict peacebuilding efforts are not compromised while advancing security sector reforms. , capacity building of law enforcement agencies, promotion of the rule of law and good governance.

“India attaches great importance to preventing, combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. We consider that the primary responsibility for solving this problem lies with the Member States, ”he said.

India supports redoubled national and global efforts to strengthen the implementation of the United Nations Program of Action and the International Tracing Instrument, including through national legislative and enforcement measures, export controls, information sharing and capacity building, he added.

In addition, India said the security of UN peacekeepers is directly affected by the regular and illicit supply of small arms and light weapons to warring parties in situations of armed conflict.

The Council is aware of numerous incidents in the past where killings and attacks on peacekeepers have been carried out through the use of these weapons, Tirumurti said, stressing the need for the Council to face the danger. posed by such illicit transfers for the safety and security of peacekeepers by paying due attention to this issue when reviewing peacekeeping mandates.

“United Nations peacekeeping missions could help host countries address the problem of the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons by building the capacity of law enforcement and security agencies. safe handling, maintenance and management of stockpiles and weapons, including those recovered – state actors, “he said.

India welcomed the recommendation of Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to create a dedicated component or unit within peacekeeping missions to manage this assistance.

Recalling that Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, in his address to the Security Council earlier this year, presented an eight-point action plan to fight terrorism, Tirumurti said two points are directly linked to the discussion – the need to address the links between terrorism and transnational organized crime and to combat the financing of terrorism.

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