In the first-ever political declaration by the G-20 since its inception, the leaders of world’s top economies Monday condemned the “heinous” attacks in Paris and agreed to work together to “prevent and suppress” terrorist acts and to crack down on their financing.
The joint communique on “the fight against terrorism” also expressed concern at the “acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters” — a concern also aired by India, given the number of youths who have travelled from India to fight for the IS.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the need to “delink terror and religion and work together to counter radicalisation”, US President Barack Obama said the leaders had given out an “unmistakable message” that “we are united” in the fight against terror. He said the IS is the “face of evil” and does not represent Islam.
Condemning the terrorist attacks in Paris and Ankara in the strongest possible terms, the joint statement said they were “an unacceptable affront to all humanity”.
Reaffirming that terrorism cannot be associated with any religion, nationality, civilisation or ethnic group — a point made by both Modi and Obama, among other leaders — the communique said, “(We) remain committed to tackling the financing channels of terrorism, particularly by enhanced cooperation on exchange of information and freezing of terrorist assets, criminalisation of terrorist financing and robust targeted financial sanctions regimes related to terrorism and terrorist financing, including through swift implementation of Financial Action Task Force standards in all jurisdictions.”
The issue of foreign fighters was also mentioned: “We are concerned over the acute and growing flow of foreign terrorist fighters and the threat it poses for all States, including countries of origin, transit and destination. We are resolved to address this threat by enhancing our cooperation and developing relevant measures to prevent and tackle this phenomenon, including operational information-sharing, border management to detect travel, preventive measures and appropriate criminal justice response. We will work together to strengthen global aviation security.”
The statement unequivocally condemned all “acts, methods and practices of terrorism, which cannot be justified under any circumstances, regardless of their motivation, in all their forms and manifestations, wherever and by whomsoever committed” — a point repeatedly made by India during its interventions.
The leaders said they will fight terrorism keeping in mind the UN’s central role, and in accordance with the UN Charter. Though the statement did not agree to the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, it said, “Our counter-terrorism actions must continue to be part of a comprehensive approach based on addressing the conditions conducive to terrorism as stipulated in UNSC Resolution 2178, countering violent extremism… The direct or indirect encouragement of terrorism, the incitement of terrorist acts and glorification of violence must be prevented.”