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India and 50 African countries adopted the ‘Lucknow Declaration’ at first India – Africa Defence Minister’s Conclave.
- India and African nations had previously adopted declarations during the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in April 2008, India-Africa Forum Summit-II in Addis Ababa in May 2011 and the Third India-Africa Forum Summit, held in Delhi in October 2015 and the India-Africa Framework for Strategic Cooperation.
- All these declarations had worked to strengthen the multi-faceted partnership between India and Africa.
- The conclave was held on the side-lines of the 11th edition of the biennial defence exhibition, DEFEXPO India 2020.
- The ‘Lucknow Declaration’ was adopted in the presence of Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his counterparts from 12 African nations and heads of delegations from 38 other African countries.
- Overall, 50 African nations signed the declaration along with India at the conclave, which was organized for the very first time.
Peace and Security:
- All the signatories committed to continue their collaboration in the fields of peace and security including conflict prevention, resolution, management and peacebuilding.
- It also aims to enhance the role of women in peacekeeping.
- To exchange expertise and trainers, strengthening regional and continental early warning capacities and mechanisms.
- Terrorism is a major threat in the region and thus aims to take resolute action in rooting out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, eliminating financing channels and halting cross-border movement of terrorists.
- It also urges the international community to envisage the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Importance of Indo-Pacific:
- To encourage enhanced cooperation between India and Africa on the evolving concept of Indo-Pacific.
- It also welcomes the African Unions’ vision for peace and security in Africa that coincides with India’s vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region).
- SAGAR is an articulation of India’s vision for the Indian Ocean.
- SAGAR has elements such as enhancement of capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories & interests; deepening economic and security cooperation in the littoral; action to deal with natural disasters and maritime threats like piracy, terrorism.
Compliance at UNSC:
- To strengthen the UN Counter-Terrorism mechanisms and to ensure strict compliance with the UN Security Council sanctions regime on terrorism.
Origin and Status of Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT):
- India has pushed for an intergovernmental convention to enhance prosecution and extradition of terrorists since 1996.
- Although consensus eludes towards the adoption of the terrorism convention, discussions have yielded three separate protocols that aim to tackle terrorism:
- International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings, adopted on 15 December 1997;
- International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism, adopted on 9 December 1999;
- International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism, adopted on 13 April 2005.
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