In News: India has proposed a permanent secretariat for “No Money for Terror (NMFT),” a ministerial body, to sustain the continued global focus on countering the financing of terrorism.
- India will circulate a discussion paper to all participating jurisdictions for their valuable comments
- India is the chair of 3rd Ministerial No Money for Terror (NMFT) and reiterated India’s position that all countries will have to agree on one common definition of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terror financing’.
- No country or organisation can successfully combat terrorism, alone and the international community must continue to fight shoulder-to-shoulder against this increasingly complex and borderless threat.
- Hence, now the time is ripe for a permanent Secretariat to be established.
What is NMFT conference:
- It is a conference on counter-terrorism financing with representatives of 75 countries and global bodies.
- It aims to discuss key issues including use of dark web, virtual assets, crowdfunding platforms, Money Transfer Service Scheme and hawala networks by terrorist entities.
- It discusses the use of formal and informal channels of funding terrorism, emerging technologies and terrorist financing, and requisite international cooperation to address related challenges
- The declaration acknowledged the “essential” role of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) –FATF is a multilateral body that monitors terror financing and money laundering and NMFT is complimentary to FATF as the latter is membership based while NMFT is ministerial.
Challenges of terrorism:
- Terror attacks: the blowing up of the Air India aircraft over the Irish Sea in 1985, the numerous attacks and massacres in Punjab and Kashmir in the 1990s, bombings in various cities, culminating into Mumbai attack of 2008, and so on.
- Radicalisation: Under the guise of other motives, some organisations promote terrorism and radicalisation at the national and international levels and tend to become the medium of financing terrorism.
- Recently, India banned Popular Front of India (PFI) under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for its radical and exclusivist style of minority politics.
- Economic cost: As per IMF and the World Bank, criminals around the world launder around 2 to 4 trillion dollars every year and a major part of it goes to fuel terrorism.
- Lack of global unity: China’s constant blockage of listing names suggested by India (Sajid Mir of LeT) to be included in UNSC 1267 list of terrorists is a challenge to uniformity against terrorism since being on the ‘Grey List’ made it difficult for Pakistan to obtain loans from financial institutions like the IMF, World Bank and ADB.
- Technological leverage: the terrorist threat had morphed into using social media for recruitment and incitement, along with drones, VPNs, message encryption apps, blockchain and digital currencies. For instance, in 2022, security forces have noted 171 drone flights.
- Kashmir Insurgency: In Kashmir, terrorist forces are operating through The Resistance Front (TRF) and conducting highly effective attacks aimed at keeping the situation on the boil.
Suggestions for future:
- The Government of India has decided to develop national and global databases on crimes such as terrorism, narcotics, and economic offenses.
- The United Nations Security Council has developed a framework to deal with the threat of terrorism, with the main objective of creating a “counter-terrorism sanctions regime” which must be further strengthened, made more rigorous, and transparent.
- All countries and organisations must pledge complete transparency in sharing intelligence in a better and more effective manner including every geographical and virtual space.
- Expanding the concerns over terrorism beyond transnational groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and Al Qaeda, and flagging the existence of safe havens – two pet concerns of India.
- NMFT conference also calls for partnerships with the private sector, including financial institutions, financial technology industry and internet and social media companies, about the evolution of trends, sources and methods of the financing of terrorism.
- Measures may include preventing diversion from legal financial instruments by fighting anonymity in financial networks, restricting the use of proceeds of other crimes for terrorist activities, preventing use of new financial technologies, virtual assets such as crypto-currencies, wallets etc.
- Prevention of the use of Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) to spread terror Ideology is crucial.
- There is a need to uphold the importance of a Whole-of-Government and Whole-of-Society approach, whereby cooperation in countering terrorism and its financing between all relevant stakeholders, including the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary, civil society, and private sector, is ensured.
Source The Hindu Business line