Proper of self-defence applies additionally to assaults by non-state actors, India tells UN assembly


United Nations, February 25

Exercising self-defence is a nation’s primary right when a situation demands “immediate and proportionate action” and applies also to attacks by non-state actors, India told a UN meeting, highlighting several proxy cross-border and state-supported terrorist attacks like the 26/11 Mumbai assault the country was subjected to from its neighbour.

India’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador K Nagaraj Naidu said at an Arria Formula meeting organised by Mexico that a 1974 UN General Assembly declaration requires that a member state should not allow territory under its control to be used for terrorism against another state.

The Arria Formula meetings are informal meetings on ‘Upholding the collective security system of the UN Charter: the use of force in international law, non-state actors and legitimate self-defence’.

The Security Council also mandates all states to refrain from providing any form of support, active or passive, to entities or persons involved in terrorist acts, Naidu said on Wednesday.

“Despite this, some states are resorting to proxy war by supporting non-state actors such as terrorist groups to evade international censure. Such support to non-state actors has ranged from providing and equipping the terrorist groups with training, financing, intelligence and weapons to logistics and recruitment facilitation,” he said.

India for decades has been subject to such proxy cross-border and relentless state-supported terrorist attacks from our neighbourhood, he said.

“Whether it is was the 1993 Mumbai bombings, or the random and indiscriminate firings of 26/11 which witnessed the launch of the phenomenon of lone-wolves or more recently, the cowardly attacks in Pathankot and Pulwama, the world has been witness to the fact that India has repeatedly been targeted by such non-state actors with the active complicity of another host state,” Naidu said.

Naidu told the meeting that exercising self-defence is a primary right of states to be exercised when the situation is imminent and “demands necessary, immediate, and proportionate action” and that customary international law has long recognised the principles governing the use of force in self-defence. PTI



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