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India welcomes UNGA move to create new counter-terrorism office

Prevention of extremism highest priority of UN, says Secretary General

Press Trust of India  |  United Nations 

United Nations
United Nations

The General Assembly has approved the establishment of a new office to coordinate counter-efforts, a move welcomed by as a "much awaited first step" that will align the world body with needs of the global community in the fight against the menace.

The 193-member General Assembly adopted a consensus resolution on Thursday creating the United Nations Office of Counter-that will be headed by an Under-Secretary-General.

welcomed the creation of the new counter- office, saying it demonstrates the importance member states place on a collective and coordinated action on terrorism, which remains the most complex threat faced by the community.

"believes that the creation of the Office of Counter-Coordinator is a much awaited first step in our efforts to enhance coordination of the UN's counter- efforts," India's Permanent Representative to the Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin said in the General Assembly after the resolution's adoption.

He said the office's creation "will align the with the changed global reality and needs of the community" as was articulated by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Kabul, where he said support to entails a high price.

Addressing reporters in Kabul, Guterres had warned that any country that supports anywhere in the world in relation to other countries, "sooner or later the price paid will be high in relation to within the country itself".

Welcoming the creation of the counter-office, Guterres expressed hope that this reform of the counter- architecture will contribute to the world body's broader efforts to promote conflict prevention, sustainable peace and development.

Akbaruddin noted that "an all of UN" approach and a certain convening power on counter-issues will be crucial for the new office to fulfil its functions effectively. He said that terrorist organisations are not bound by the borders, norms, legal frameworks and bureaucratic inertia that bind nations as member states and the at all levels.

"While terrorist networks use modern platforms such as social media, cyberspace and exist in parallel worlds alongside us in hidden trans-national networks, we cannot work in silos created either by boundaries or bureaucracy," he said.

Akbaruddin underscored that there was never a stronger case than now for more multilateral action, coordination and cooperation on any matter amongst all stakeholders.

"The office should not only engage member states at a higher political level but also cooperate with other organisations dealing with issues relating to for fulfilling its mandate effectively," he said, adding that it is important to build the narrative on counter-for the ordinary people who are threatened by this scourge.

A statement issued by Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the Secretary-General considers counter- and prevention of violent extremism to be one of the highest priorities of the United Nations to address a growing threat to peace and security.

"The Secretary-General expects the United Nations Counter-Centre within the new Office of Counter- to play a central role in the provision of enhanced capacity building assistance to the Member States," the statement added.

had repeatedly stressed on the need for "coherence and coordination" at the in dealing with It had lamented that as many as 31 entities within the United Nations deal with some aspect of countering terrorism, calling it a case of "too many cooks spoil the broth".

Under the new structure, the Counter-Implementation Task Force Office (CTITF) and the Counter- Centre (UNCCT), currently in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) will be transferred to the new office, together with their existing staff and all associated regular and extra-budgetary resources. The Secretary-General had proposed that the new Under-Secretary-General would Chair the Task Force and Executive Director of the Counter-Centre.

The main functions of the new office would include enhancing coordination and coherence across the 38 Counter- Implementation Task Force entities, strengthening the delivery of counter-capacity-building assistance to the Member States, improving visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for counter-efforts and ensuring that due priority is given to counterterrorism across the United Nations system and that the important work on preventing violent extremism is firmly rooted in the strategy.

First Published: Fri, June 16 2017. 12:09 IST