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PSIR 2A-11.5 Terrorism – Previous Year Questions – Solved

Model Answers to PYQs (2018-2023)

1] Discuss the efficacy of global conventions to combat international terrorism. [2022/15m/200w/3c]

Since 1963, the international community has elaborated 19 international legal instruments to prevent terrorist acts. Those instruments were developed under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and are open to participation by all the Member States.

To oversee the implementation of the bedrock counterterrorism resolutions created after September 11, the UNSC established the Counterterrorism Committee (CTC), and later the CTC Executive Directorate (CTED).

Some countries, notably those from the global South, have considered the CTC illegitimate given its direct mandate from the UNSC, not to mention it being out of touch with countries it is responsible for assisting and with donor countries that are not on the Security Council. Moreover, many UN member states simply give low priority to the counterterrorism agenda. Accordingly, countries, particularly in Africa, have not met their obligations to report to the CTC or otherwise have not taken any major steps to implement UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1373.

Another UN Security Council body, the 1540 Committee, oversees the implementation of UNSCR 1540, which legally obligates member states to prevent non-state actors from acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

UN-sponsored sanctions have been effective in addressing state sponsorship of terrorism, notably Libya and Sudan, but less so against non-state actors, like al-Qaeda and the Taliban since their removal from power. Over the last decade, terrorist groups evolved to rely less on a centrally led network and adopted a more horizontal, nebulous, bottom-up structure, increasing the difficulty of tracking and preventing terrorist acts. According to UNSCR 1267, the Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee and Monitoring Team were created to implement and enforce this and subsequent resolutions.

Despite increased attention, however, several glaring gaps remain. These include divergent views on the legitimacy and authority of counterterrorism bodies and inadequate compliance and enforcement of standing tools. Targeting non-state actors that can easily cross borders and operate in civilian areas also poses an enormous challenge. Today’s counterterrorism regime lacks a central global body dedicated to terrorist prevention and response. The landscape for counterterrorism activity thus lacks coherence.

Today, although counterterrorism gets unprecedented attention, the efforts are proportionately insufficient and uncoordinated. [356 words]

The post contains answers to the last 6-year papers i.e. (2023-2018). Answers to the previous year questions from 2013-2017 are a part of our book PSIR Optional Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2022)

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