New York: India has been at the forefront of supporting UN efforts to promote the cause of victims of terrorism, said India's Permanent Representative at United Nations Ruchira Kamboj calling for a need to develop a legal framework for fighting terrorism at the international level.

While addressing the first Global Congress of the Victims of Terrorism, Kamboj said that India has been a victim of state-sponsored cross-border terrorism for past more than three decades and deeply understands the human cost of terrorism and its lasting impact on victims and families of victims.

"We remain fully committed to doing our utmost to look after victims of terrorism and protect their dignity," Kamboj asserted.

She said, "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly emphasized that "terrorism is a threat to humanity". And we agree. Indeed, terrorism is an attack on the values that define the international community, and seriously impairs the enjoyment of human rights including the right to life."

Kamboj said that women and children are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses by terrorists. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to root out terrorism to protect human rights, including the rights of victims and their families.

" The pain and suffering of victims and families multiply when their right to justice is denied as the perpetrators, facilitators, and financiers of these attacks continue to walk free, enjoying state support and hospitality," she noted.

"The international community must work towards redressing deficiencies in international efforts to ensure that perpetrators of cross-border terrorism are brought to justice," Kamboj said, Recalling the sufferings of the victims of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack and 2016 Pathankot terror attack, who are yet to get justice.

India's Permanent Representative said that the terrorists use violence to disrupt livelihoods, destroy lives and traumatise people, rupture societies, destabilise states, and undermine the very fabric of human beliefs by creating panic for achieving their nefarious goals.

"Pluralistic societies are increasingly targets of such insidious attempts by terrorists. The strengths of diversity and pluralism are sought to be undermined by those who promote intolerance and exclusivism. The need to collectively demonstrate zero tolerance for terrorism and violent extremism has never been greater," she said.

Kamboj also highlighted India's stand in eliminating terrorism and assisting the victims of terrorism.

India had co-sponsored the GA resolution on 'Enhancement of international cooperation to assist victims of terrorism' aimed at promoting awareness and supporting the victims of terrorism in fulfilling their needs, she said.

She emphasised that India has also contributed constructively to strengthening the language of provisions related to victims of terrorism in the 7th review resolution of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (GCTS).

"In the same vein, India supports the establishment of a voluntary fund aimed at strengthening Member States' efforts in assisting victims of terrorism through national systems," she noted.

The permanent representative of India called for the need for a consolidated approach rather than a fragmented approach, "including that of developing a legal framework for fighting terrorism at the international level, especially by early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, as well as developing suitable regulatory frameworks for prosecution of terrorist outfits and personnel," she said.

Kamboj said that there cannot be any justification for terrorism in any form. The menace of terrorism has to be fought on all fronts and at all places.

India's permanent representative congratulated the UN Office for Counter Terrorism and the Group of Friends for Victims of Terrorism for organizing the first Global Congress of the Victims of Terrorism, and said, "The Congress is a tribute to the victims of terrorism across the globe, including in my country, for their losses and the immense pain that has befallen them."

"Global Congress is an opportunity for us to pay homage to their memory, share their pain, and work jointly towards addressing their needs and protecting their rights, our most enduring tribute to the victims of terrorism will be to rededicate ourselves to combating and eliminating the menace of terrorism with strong determination and joint action," Kamboj said.

"We should not and must not be found wanting in our efforts. We can afford this only at our own peril," she added.