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    India to contribute USD500,000 to UN to counter-terrorism

    NEW DELHI (AP) – India will contribute half a million dollars to the United Nations’ (UN) efforts to counter global terrorism as new and emerging technologies used by terror groups pose fresh threats to governments around the world, the foreign minister said yesterday.

    The money will go toward the UN Trust Fund for Counter Terrorism and will further strengthen the organisation’s fight against terrorism, S Jaishankar said as he addressed a special meeting of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee in New Delhi.

    This is the first time such a conference, focussed on challenging threats posed by terror groups in the face of new technologies, is being held outside of the UN’s headquarters in New York. Jaishankar said new technologies, like encrypted messaging services and blockchain, are increasingly being misused by terror groups and malicious actors, sparking an urgent need for the international community to adopt measures to combat the threats.

    “Internet and social media platforms have turned into potent instruments in the toolkit of terrorist and militant groups for spreading propaganda, radicalisation and conspiracy theories aimed at destabilising societies,” he said.

    Jaishankar also highlighted the growing threat from the use of unmanned aerial systems such as drones by terror groups and criminal organisations, calling them a challenge for security agencies worldwide. “In Africa, drones have been used by the terrorist groups to monitor movements of security forces and even of UN peacekeepers, making them vulnerable to terrorist attacks,” he added.

    Members meet during a UN Counter-Terrorism Committee special meet in Mumbai, India. PHOTO: AP

    British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly reiterated the dangers of unmanned aerial platforms, saying that such systems were being used to inflict terror, death and destruction.

    “Drones are being used currently to target critical national infrastructure and civilian targets in Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine,” he said.

    “This is why we have sanctioned three Iranian military commanders and one Iranian company involved in the supply of drones.”

    The special conference kicked off on Friday in Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital, which witnessed a massive terror attack in 2008 that left 140 Indian nationals and 26 citizens of 23 other countries dead by terrorists who had entered India from Pakistan.

    Jaishankar said India regretted the UN Security Council’s inability to act in some cases when it came to proscribing terrorists because of political considerations, undermining its collective credibility and interests.

    He referred to its decision to block UN sanctions against leaders of Jaish-e-Mohammad, a Pakistan-based extremist group designated as a terrorist organisation by the UN.

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