No consensus is derailing counter-terror diplomacy

Source– The post is based on the article “No consensus is derailing counter-terror diplomacy” published in The Hindu on 9th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS2- International relations

Relevance– Global terrorism

News- The article explain the challenges related to global terrorism.

What are challenges related to terrorism?

Unequal response– Global war on terrorism has ended with US negotiation with Taliban. It was conceived by US after 9/11 terror attack. It was an unequal campaign. when India had asked for help to deal with the IC-814 hijacking; the U.S., the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan denied.

State sponsored terrorism from Pakistan was not given much attention due to USA and China friendship with Pakistan.  UNSC designations of Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, never mentioned their role in attacks in India. The maximum India received in terms of global cooperation was the grey listing of Pakistan by FATF.

Weak international reaction to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, and its persecution of women and minorities in the country, demonstrate rising fatigue levels in dealing with terrorism

Weak global response– UNSC is paralysed. It is unable to pass any meaningful resolutions that are not vetoed by Russia or western members. China has been able to block as many as five terror designations requested by India and the U.S.

UNSC Resolutions 1267, 1373 are being rendered outdated and toothless.

There is still no consensus on CCIT proposed by India. Very little progress has been made on the actual issues such as the definition of terrorism, concerns over human rights law conflicts, and the old debate on ‘freedom fighter vs terrorist’.

Emerging technologies– The next challenge comes from emerging technologies and the weaponization of a number of different mechanisms for terrorism purposes. Drones are already being used to deliver funds, drugs, weapons, ammunition and even improvised explosive devices. After the COVID-19 pandemic, worries have grown about the use of bio-warfare.

In a future that is already here, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) systems and robotic soldiers makes it even easier to perpetrate mass attacks while maintaining anonymity.

Terror financing uses bitcoins and cryptocurrency, and terror communications use social media, the dark web and even gaming centres.

Consesus over definition– There is growing global polarisation over the definition and meaning of terrorism. Russia-Ukraine war is not only shifting the focus from terrorism but is also blurring the lines on what constitutes terrorism.

What is the need of the day?

There is need for global consensus on regulating the use of these emergent technologies by all responsible states. Otherwise, it will be hard to distinguish their use from those by designated terror entities, or state-sponsored terrorism.

Globally accepted norms on how to respond to the terror attacks are needed.

What will be the future of terrorism?

The truth is global inequity, food and energy shortages, climate change and pandemics are going to be the next big drivers of strife and violence in the world

Terrorist acts of the future will grow more and more lethal. They will need fewer people to carry out the terror strikes. Their sponsors having more and more anonymity.

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