In a thinly veiled allusion to Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar (1) stated on Saturday that terrorism continues to be one of the greatest threats to humanity and that the UN Security Council has developed a counter-terrorism sanctions regime, which has been very effective in alerting those countries that have turned terrorism into a state-funded enterprise.
Additionally, he stated that India would voluntarily contribute more than $500,000 to the UN Trust Fund for Counter-Terrorism (2) this year to support the UN Office of Counter Terrorism's (UNOCT) efforts to support member nations in developing their ability to prevent and combat terrorism.
The external affairs minister later advocated for international efforts to stop the potential abuse of new technologies by non-state actors, such as encrypted messaging and cryptocurrency, in a speech at the Special Meeting of the Counter-terrorism Committee in Delhi, which members of the UN Security Council attended. He also warned that social media platforms had developed into potent tools in the arsenal of terrorist organizations.
Additionally, terrorist organizations, their ideological allies, and lone wolves attacked those who honed their skills by acquiring access to cutting-edge technologies. The second day's meeting was attended by representatives from all 15 UN Security Council members (3), while the first day's event was held in Mumbai.
The world has changed dramatically over the past 20 years due to technological advancements and innovations. These new, emerging technologies, such as virtual private networks, encrypted messaging services, blockchain, and various currencies, hold great promise for the future of humanity in terms of a wide range of economic and social benefits.
However, there is a negative side, particularly regarding terrorism. In recent years, terrorist organizations have targeted liberal, open societies, in particular, using technology, money, and, most crucially, the spirit of open societies to undermine freedom, tolerance, and advancement. The internet and social media have developed into effective tools in the arsenal of terrorist and militant organizations for disseminating propaganda, radicalization, and conspiracy theories intended to destabilize societies.
Using unmanned aerial systems by organized criminal groups and terrorist organizations has added to the concerns of governments worldwide. The use of these platforms for nefarious reasons by terrorist organizations, such as the delivery of weapons and explosives and targeted assaults, is becoming an urgent threat because they are a very inexpensive option and are getting easier to acquire.
As a result, Member States (4) need to pay close attention to the challenge that this provides to security services worldwide and the potential for terrorist use of armed drones against key infrastructure and commercial assets.
Terrorists launched a cross-border drone attack on the UAE and Saudi Arabia months ago that targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure and resulted in the loss of life and injuries, including Indian citizens there. India strongly condemned these cross-border drone attacks in the UAE and Saudi Arabia; he added (5).