Terrorism is the major security threat confronting the global community today. The Non-Aligned Movement has been cognizant of this threat. NAM’s principled position against terrorism is as follows: “Terrorist acts constitute one of the most flagrant violations of international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular the right to life, leading to the lack of the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of peoples, and that such acts endanger the territorial integrity and stability of States as well as national, regional and international security, destabilize legitimately constituted governments or the prevailing constitutional order and political unity of States, affect the stability of nations and the very basis of societies, as well as create adverse consequences on the economic and social development and cause the destruction of the physical and economic infrastructure of States”.

On January 12, 2021, the United Nations Security Council held a Ministerial-level open videoconference (VTC) debate on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, focusing on international cooperation in combating terrorism 20 years after the adoption of Resolution 1373 (2001) which placed barriers on the movement, organization and fund-raising activities of terrorist groups and imposed legislative, policy and reporting requirements on Member States to assist the global struggle against terrorism. Resolution 1373 (2001) also established a Counter-Terrorism Committee to monitor state compliance with these provisions.

During the United Nations Security Council Ministerial Open Debate “20th anniversary Of Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001) and the Establishment of the Counter Terrorism Committee: Achievements in International Cooperation, Challenges and Opportunities”, the Non-Aligned Movement reiterated its position in opposing and condemning all forms of terrorism and terrorist acts. The Delegation of Azerbaijan, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, expressed the resolve of the Movement to take measures to eliminate terrorism and urged States to take actions against those found perpetrating acts of terrorism as well as to keep a strict check on terrorist financing. The NAM statement also called on States to ensure that their territories are not used as a conduit for harbouring and organizing terrorist networks. During the debate, NAM reiterated that multilateral cooperation under the United Nations auspices was the most effective means to both prevent and combat international terrorism and reiterated its support for the Resolution 1373 (2001).

Many Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement also spoke during the debate in their national capacity. India is one of the hardest hit countries by the menace of terrorism. During the debate, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, Subramaniam Jaishankar proposed an action plan that relies on Member States fulfilling their obligations enshrined in international counter‑terrorism instruments and conventions. “We must not countenance double standards in this battle,” he said, stressing that terrorists are terrorists — “there are no good and bad ones”. The Indian Minister stated that enlisting and delisting individuals and entities under United Nations sanctions regimes must be done objectively, while links between terrorism and transnational organized crime must be recognized and addressed vigorously. India also urged the Financial Action Task Force to continue to identify and remedy weaknesses in anti-money‑laundering and counter-terror financing frameworks, similarly stressing that funding for United Nations counter-terrorism bodies from the Organization’s regular budget requires immediate attention.

Raychelle Omamo, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, said the Jihadist terrorist threat in Africa is acute, with ISIL/Da’esh regrouping and seeking safe haven in conflict zones, and Al-Qaida affiliates part of an extensive transnational network. The Kenyan delegate called for using the anniversary to “close ranks for the sake of our citizens, our economies and global peace”, starting with tough, united measures that reflect the spirit of resolution 1372 (2001).

Viet Nam said that the United Nations entities have played an instrumental role in advancing international cooperation and building national capacity to combat terrorism. ISIL/Da’esh suffered major defeat in its last controlled territory. However, the threat of terrorism has also evolved and become more complicated, with groups manoeuvring to expand their networks and deploying new strategies. Viet Nam advocated for more information-sharing, as well as continued country visits by the Counter-Terrorism Committee and its Executive Directorate, and urged States to cooperate with those bodies.

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