External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today at a special meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee said the internet and social media platforms have turned into “potent instruments in the toolkit of terrorists and militant groups” for spreading propaganda, radicalisation, and conspiracy theories aimed at destabilising societies.
On challenges posed by emerging technologies, Mr Jaishankar said technologies like virtual private network, encrypted message services, and blockchain have also thrown up new challenges for governments and regulatory bodies.
“In recent years, terrorist groups, their ideological fellow-travellers, particularly in open and liberal societies and ‘lone wolf’ attackers have significantly enhanced their capabilities by gaining access to these technologies. They use technology and money, and most importantly, the ethos of open societies, to attack freedom, tolerance and progress,” he added.
He said that the global threat of terrorism is growing and expanding, particularly in Asia and Africa, despite the UN Security Council’s best efforts to combat the “gravest threat to humanity”.
“That the Council is holding this special meeting of its Counter-Terrorism Committee in India is also a product of the fact that the counter-terrorism has become one of the top priorities during our ongoing tenure in the Security Council,” he added.
India is hosting the two-day anti-terrorism meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The ongoing meeting in Delhi is being held under India’s chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC).
“UNSC, in the past 2 decades, has evolved an important architecture built primarily around the Counter-Terrorism Sanctions Regime, to combat this menace. This has been very effective in putting those countries on notice that had turned terrorism into a state-funded enterprise,” the Foreign Minister said.
Members of the international community, gathered for the second day of the meeting of the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, also observed a minute’s silence to commemorate the survivors and victims of terrorism, and their families.
Mr Jaishankar also highlighted terrorist groups and organised criminal networks using unmanned aerial systems like drones for weapons delivery and attacks.
“India will be making a voluntary contribution of half a million dollars to the UN Trust Fund for Counter Terrorism this year to augment the efforts of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in providing capacity-building support to member states in preventing and countering the threat of terrorism,” he said.