India pushes for ‘zero tolerance agenda’ towards terrorism at UN

NEW YORK (TIP): India will ask all member states to ensure ‘zero tolerance’ policy towards terrorism at the 67th United Nations General Assembly being held in New York. Foreign Secretary of India, Mr. Ranjan Mathai said that India will ask all the UN members to take measures to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. Mr. Mathai was addressing a press conference at the Permanent Mission of India in Midtown, New York City on September 26.

Mr. Mathai also said that India proposes to focus on the implementation of a ‘proactive campaign’ against terrorism and work towards an early adoption of a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism wing.

India currently chairs the UN Security Council’s Committee on Counter Terrorism and the committee is due to meet in November 2012 to discuss the issue of terrorist financing. India will also take adequate measures to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia. Also being the Chairman of the Contact Group on piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS), India will address the UN with concerns and highlight progress regarding this issue.

Other Plans

At the 67th UNGA, India will also consolidate the progress achieved till date in the process of Security Council reforms. Mr. Mathai said that India will engage members to negotiate the expansion of Security Council in both Permanent and Non-Permanent membership categories.

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India will also continue its commitment to universal, non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament, which will be carried out in a “time-bound manner, added Mr. Mathai.

During the UNGA session, India would actively pursue measures aimed at strengthening multilateralism while ensuring that the interests and concerns of the developing world form the basis of these endeavours.

“We will be proactive on the evolution of the sustainable development goals in an inter-governmental process visualised at Rio+20 ensuring the primacy of development and addressing environmental and social concerns of developing countries,” said Mr. Mathai.

Kashmir issue

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari brought up the issue of Kashmir at the 67th UNGA and reportedly said that the people of Kashmir have ‘peacefully chosen their destiny’ and that ‘it remains a symbol of failures than the strengths of the UN system’. Mr. Mathai responded to this remark saying that India has always maintained that Kashmir is an internal matter.

He also added, “We have seen the reference to Jammu and Kashmir in the statement of the Pakistan president. Our principled position on the issue has been consistent and is well known.”
India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Hardip Singh Puri and Ambassador Navtej Sarna, Additional Secretary, Ministry of External Affairs were also present at the press conference

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