Abuja (Nigeria): Observing that only organised international action can defeat terrorism, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari on Wednesday called for restructuring the international legal framework.
“International terrorism can only be defeated by organised international action. We need to restructure the international legal framework such as by adopting a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,” said Ansari while addressing the Nigerian National Defence College here.
Stronger India-Nigeria relations would add to the regional and global security, he added.
He described terrorism as the “biggest threat” to international peace and sovereignty of states.
“Terrorism today has global reach and no city remains safe. There is a new level of threat to pluralist and open societies,” he said.
“A terrorist is a terrorist, one who commits crimes against humanity cannot have any religion, or be afforded any political sanctuary,” he added.
Ansari said: “Societies that stand for peace and humanism have to increase their cooperation and strengthen efforts to prevent supply of arms to terrorists, disrupt terrorist movements, curb and criminalise terror financing.”
“We have to help each other by sharing intelligence, securing our cyber space, and minimising the use of internet and social media for terrorist activities.”
Ansari also noted that the idea of security has expanded beyond the traditional sphere of military security, and there is growing recognition that security of any given society is also impacted by several non-military factors, including political, economic, environmental, social and human domains.
“Many of the states have radiated insecurity towards their citizens and residents and thus destabilised their own societies and polities. This has led to state failures and implosions in the internal dimension and to regional and even global crises in the external dimension. One cannot escape the harsh conclusion that states have, quite often, been significant contributors to individual and systemic insecurity,” he said.
“Our main concern should, therefore, be to establish the credibility and legitimacy of the state and its institutions. Aberrations must be resolved in a transparent and just fashion as public perceptions are important, he pointed out.
The Vice President said that both Nigeria and India face similar security challenges ranging from climate change and diverse societal needs which have been compounded by the spread of terror and newer fears of insecurity.
Ansari also talked about finding ways of using international opinion as a force multiplier.
“No country in the world, howsoever powerful, can counter the emergent threats unilaterally. This makes diplomacy doubly important for developing economies such as ours.
“It is important to devise methods of effectively participating in international fora, in influencing world opinion and striving to make such mechanisms more representative, more consensual and more effective,” he added.
The Vice President is on a four-day visit to Nigeria and Mali to strengthen India’s ties with the two west African nations.