Unresolved problems helped terrorists: UN Secy General

Unresolved problems helped terrorists: UN Secy General

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres looks on during the inagural ceremony of the '2nd Global RE-INVEST India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors Meet & Expo' in New Delhi on October 2. AFP

Antonio Guterres, United Nations' Secretary General on Tuesday said that interlinked conflicts, discrimination and unresolved problems helped terrorists spread the menace of terror.

Guterres, who is currently on a visit to New Delhi, said that the United Nations remained committed to the fight against terrorism. “But it is also clear that today terrorism has become a major problem because we have more and more conflicts interlinked, and more and more conflicts linked to terrorism,” he said, responding to a query after delivering a lecture on “Global Challenges, Global Solutions” in New Delhi. “Then you have a number of situations which discrimination, unresolved problems facilitates the work of terrorists.”

The UN Secretary General, however, refrained from specifying any particular conflict or any particular “unresolved problem”.

Pakistan in the past has alleged that “unresolved” dispute with India over Kashmir had a role in the spurt of terrorism. The argument was used by Islamabad to counter New Delhi's allegation about the role of state and non-state actors of Pakistan to sponsor and orchestrate terrorist attacks in India.

Guterres, however, lauded India for playing a lead role in global war against terrorism, particularly in supporting the UN efforts against the menace.

He said that the UN has just created an office of counter-terrorism in the secretariat of the international organization. He said that the UN had launched a programme, not only on the counter-terrorism but also on the prevention of violent extremism. “We now have a centre of co-ordination where 38 agencies deal with that to be much effective to deal with the member states, and we are putting more and more agenda of terrorism in the security council. It's clear that we are totally committed to it (fighting terrorism),” said the UN secretary general.

Guterres acknowledged that the UN could not adopt a convention against terrorism due to lack of consensus on the definition of the menace. “It is true we never managed to have it and we never managed to have a true convention because of the definition,” said the UN Secretary General.

India and a few other nations have since long been trying to get a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism adopted by the UN. Though a draft text of the CCIT is pending before the General Assembly since 2008, the negotiations are currently deadlocked, primarily due to disagreements over the definition of terrorism.

Guterres said that India was “an absolutely essential component” of the “future multi-polar world”. He also said that India had a leading role in global effort to dealing with climate change.

“Economic development needs to leave no-one behind, needs simultaneously to produce wealth but to reduce inequality. I am happy to see India is taking it very seriously,” said the UN Secretary General.