India calls for unequivocal, resolute position against terror

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 31: India has called on the international community to take an “unequivocal and resolute” position against terrorism while striking the right balance between effectively tackling the global menace and observing human rights standards.
“Terrorism challenges the very principle of freedom from fear and is one of the major threats to the full enjoyment of human rights. Terrorism is an attack on democracy, human dignity, human rights and development,” First Secretary in the Indian Mission to the UN Mayank Joshi said at a UN General Assembly session on ‘Promotion and Protection of Human Rights’ here.
Joshi however said that “unfortunately” an understanding of the linkage between countering terrorism and promoting human rights remains mired in suspicion and misunderstanding.
“The challenge lies in striking the right balance between the imperatives of effectively tackling terrorism on the one hand and fully observing international law and human rights standards, on the other,” he said.
Joshi stressed that the international community has to take “unequivocal and resolute” position against terrorism in order to enhance cooperation to prevent and stop terrorism aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening territorial integrity and security of states and de-stabilising legitimately constituted governments.
He said the primary responsibility to promote and protect human rights rests with nations.
“It is imperative that we fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all UN member- states, including when considering human rights themes, situations and strategies,” Joshi said.
“Any attempt to single out countries for intrusive monitoring and pointing out the failure of the state mechanism in the promotion and protection of human rights of its citizens can be counterproductive,” he said.
The Indian diplomat pointed out that the human rights situation in a country is more likely to improve by actions taken by the country itself and its citizens rather than through an outside intervention.
“This is the most sustainable method for sovereign governments to discharge their responsibility to promote and protect human rights. We believe that the best approach to prevent human rights violations is strengthening national institutions through capacity building efforts so that they can function consistent with the rule of law and uphold human rights,” he said.
Joshi lauded the key role played by human rights defenders in safeguarding democracy and ensuring that it remains open, pluralistic, participatory, and in line with the principles of rule of law and good governance.
He underscored the necessity for human rights defenders to operate in a safe and enabling environment.
“It is India’s considered view that all law-abiding citizens are human rights defenders, and all citizens of India are equal before law and enjoy equal protection of law as guaranteed in our Constitution,” he said.
Joshi stressed that nations must recognise that development is at the heart of the globalisation process.
“Globalization has significant impact on human rights. In this regard, global economic governance is equally vital so as to ensure that all countries and peoples can equitably benefit from globalisation. Given the transnational nature of effects of globalisation, international cooperation is essential in ensuring the full enjoyment of human rights for all,” he said.
Joshi said India agrees with recommendations in the reports of the UN Secretary General that nations need to continue to take steps to ensure principles of equality and non-discrimination for all its citizens and combat intolerance, negative stereo-typing, stigmatisation, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief. (PTI)

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