India to chair UNSC panels on counter-terrorism, sanctions

Sandeep Dikshit

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 8

India is poised to play a vital role in the Afghanistan peace process and in Libya after it was named the chair of the UN Security Council’s sanctions committees on Taliban and Libya.

In the new allocation of responsibilities at the UNSC with the entry of five new members, including India, for a two-year term, Permanent Representative to the UN T S Tirumurti said India will also get to chair the Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC). India had chaired this committee when it was last in the UNSC during its seventh term from 2010 to 2011.

In all there are 14 sanctions committees and three other committees, including CTC, Non-Proliferation Committee and Military Staff Committee.

A non-permanent member like India will chair two sanctions committees after the UNSC agreed last year on fair distribution of work in the selection of Chairs. Decisions are by consensus and the reforms distributed work more uniformly between the Chair and Co-Chair. More important, it was agreed that chairs will be appointed bearing in mind the capacities and resources of members.

Tirumurti said the Taliban Sanctions Committee has always been a high priority for India, keeping in mind its strong interest in Afghanistan.  India aims to keep the focus on the presence of terrorists and their sponsors threatening the peace process in Afghanistan. “It has been our view that the peace process and violence cannot go hand in hand,’’ he said.

India’s chairing of the committee pitchforks it into a position that will have a crucial say on the Afghan peace process.

India’s chairing of the Libya Sanctions Committee will put it in close consultations with all the major world and regional powers, including the US, Russia, Turkey and UAE.  “We will be assuming the chair of this committee at a critical juncture, when there is international focus on Libya and on the peace process,’’ said Tirumurti.

India will chair the CTC in 2022, which coincides with the country’s 75th anniversary of Independence. “The chairing of this committee has a special resonance for India, which has not only been in the forefront of fighting terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism, but has also been one of its biggest victims,’’ said India’s UNPR.

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