State-sponsored terrorism is a very challenging issue as it could undermine the stability in many parts of the world, the head of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism has said.
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov, at a virtual press briefing on Thursday, said that the state-sponsored terrorism is for the member states to discuss.
“Of course, it is a very challenging issue because it could undermine stability in many parts of the world,” Voronkov said.
He said this while responding to a question about state-sponsored cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan against India and demands that Pakistan take action against terror groups operating from its soil.
Voronkov said that his mandate from the UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions is designed not for “state terrorism” but his office deals with non-state terrorism.
The UN Office of Counter-Terrorism said that during the ongoing virtual counter-terrorism week, “it was really a very difficult discussion between India and Pakistan on this very issue. This is the fact of the life. I could confirm that it was really a very difficult discussion on this very topic during the counter-terrorism week”.
During the counter-terrorism week, India had slammed Pakistan, saying that while the world is coming together to battle the pandemic, it is unfortunate that Pakistan, a “state which sponsors cross-border terrorism, continues to use every opportunity to peddle false narratives and make baseless, malicious and egregious allegations against India and interfere in our internal affairs”.
India said that Pakistan is seeking to “portray its military, financial, logistical support to cross-border terrorism against India as a freedom struggle”.
He said that the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism is speaking constantly about the threat of terrorism globally.
“We are speaking that terrorism is a risk for global stability. We are trying to attract attention of the member states to the issue of bilateral relations connected with misperceptions and possible and different military engagement. We’re doing this part of the job but again, it’s not my task to deal with this bilateral issue which are connected with so called state-sponsored terrorism”.
Asked that the fight against terrorism cannot be complete unless state sponsored terrorism, difference between liberation movement and terrorism and the root causes of terrorism are addressed, he said “I can only agree with you. Still we have no clear definition, what does it mean international terrorism.”
“We are proceeding from General Assembly and especially Security Council resolutions defining what does it mean – terrorist groups. I think this is again a question to the member states, not to the Office of Counter-Terrorism, which is doing the job on the base of the Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions.”
He said that if there is a legal base, “we can move forward in this regard, but it should be a common will of the member states? to proceed forward with the definition of international terrorism and different parts of this international terrorism activities.”