UNSC MEMBERS TO PAY TRIBUTES AT 26/11 MEMORIAL

  • Ambassadors of all countries in the UN Security Council (UNSC) will attend a memorial for victims of the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai on Friday, as part of a special session of the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) at the Taj Mumbai hotel, one of the sites of the attacks in 2008.
  • The ceremony will include a joint wreath laying ceremony and separate floral tributes by United Nations officials and representatives of every country in the Security Council, said officials, stressing the significance of China’s Ambassador being part of the event, given its record of placing holds on listings of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists at the UNSC in the past four months.
  • The officials said that with just two months to go on India’s two-year tenure as an elected member of the UNSC, India is doubling up on efforts to highlight cooperation on terrorism and terror financing.
  • “From January onwards India will not be ‘in the room’ [at the UNSC] for these discussions on countering terrorism and discussing listings. So it is necessary to find ways to keep global pressure on fighting terrorism,” said former Indian Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji, who suggested the “Sudan model” on listing terrorists.
  • The model refers to a logjam at the UNSC over the U.S. requests to list four Sudanese terrorists under the UNSC Resolution 1591 sanctions regime, which was blocked by China. Eventually in April 2006, the U.S. was able to force a vote at the UNSC, which saw the listings go through, as Russia and China abstained from the vote.
  • Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) did not comment on whether India and the U.S. were considering a similar push for a vote at present, but New Delhi has expressed its frustration with China’s blocks on its joint terror listing proposals with the U.S. for five commanders of the LeT and JeM, including 26/11 terrorist handler Sajid Mir, LeT recruiter and fund collector Shahid Mehmood, and Hafiz Saeed family members AbdurMakki and Talha Saeed, all wanted for their role in the Mumbai attacks.
  • These will also be highlighted at the upcoming “No Money for Terrorism” conference in Delhi in November which will be inaugurated by Home Minister Amit Shah, and by officials preparing for a visit to New York by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chair a session of the UNSC in November.
  • The CTC meeting in Mumbai follows a week after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited the 26/11 memorial, and was taken through an exhibition of photos of the terror attacks on Mumbai hotels, the CST railway station, and other locations over three days, that left 166 people dead.
  • The visiting Ambassadors, both current and incoming members of the UNSC, Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov, UN Office on Counter-Terrorism, and Weixiong Chen, Acting Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, would also meet with some of the victims of the attacks who had met Mr. Guterres.
  • The event will be followed by an “informal briefing on combating terrorism financing in the local and regional contexts”, according to the CTC’s draft agenda.

SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB

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