Indian defence minister says nations need to jointly fight terrorism

Tuesday, Feb 14,2012, 9:04:25 PM

Warning against the danger of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) falling into wrong hands, Indian Defence Minister A K Antony on Monday [13 February] said nations will need to work together to defeat such challenges.

The Defence Minister also said that the international community will have to jointly fight the menace of terrorism, which is of "grave concern to global peace and stability".

"WMDs go beyond nuclear weapons. These weapons may be biological, chemical and radiological, in nature and do not require sophisticated delivery systems. There is always a danger that these weapons may fall into wrong hands.

"Thus, nations need to cooperate with each other and draw up a comprehensive approach to evolve institutional frameworks to defeat such challenges," he said while addressing the 14th Asian Security Conference here.

Antony said problems such as "terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and transnational crimes are common concerns the world over."

"Terrorism continues to remain a grave concern to world peace and stability. Nations must draw up collective and innovative measures to counter and defeat such asymmetric threats," he said.

The Defence Minister said impact of issues such as food, water, economic instability, terrorism, proliferation of WMD and drug trafficking is having an impact on the dynamics of various societies and nations.

Antony said that as a fast-developing economy and democracy, India has been and will continue to be committed towards building a peaceful, secure and economically stable Asia.

"However, to address such non-traditional challenges, we also need to move beyond conventional ways of dealing with them," he added.

Observing that cyber security was a critical area of concern, Antony said nations must take serious and prompt note and cooperate with each other to strengthen seamless cyber security.

"Security of networks has become an urgent concern, as enormous vital and critical data passes through them every day. Any breach of cyber networks can cause untold damage to the security of any society or country," he said.

Pointing out that climate change too has an impact on security as it is causing floods and the per capita availability of water is decreasing sharply worldwide, the Minister said, "Water is actually fast emerging as a major source of insecurity and a potential issue for conflict among nations."

"Thus, nations need to cooperate on sharing water and efficient water usage and harvesting and initiate collective action for preserving our common environment," he added.

Antony said that energy was a source of competition among nations for energy demands and as fossil fuels are depleting at a rapid pace, nations and societies need to focus on alternative sources to meet our needs.

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