Assistance needed to restore normalcy post 21/4 - Foreign Min. Secy | Daily News


Assistance needed to restore normalcy post 21/4 - Foreign Min. Secy

Foreign Ministry Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha thanked the UN and the international community who unreservedly condemned the Easter Sunday attacks, and for supporting the Government in numerous ways.

He particularly noted that the recent visit undertaken by Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) and Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Michéle Coninsx had provided an opportunity to draw on international best practices in consolidating domestic efforts in countering terrorism and violent extremism among the relevant stakeholders, a media release issued by the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka to the United Nations said.

Foreign Ministry Secretary Aryasinha who is presently leading the Sri Lankan delegation to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, made these observations when he met with Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT) Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov and his team, and ASG and Executive Director of the CTED Michéle Coninsx on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week.

Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Ambassador Kshenuka Senewiratne and other senior officials were associated with the Foreign Secretary.

The Foreign Ministry Secretary briefed Voronkov on recent visits undertaken by several Ministers and counter-terrorism coordinators from the UK, EU, the US, and Australia, as well as an expert from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). Following the latter’s visit, the areas identified for immediate attention included community policing, youth engagement for social cohesion, monitoring social media, activities targeting vulnerable community hotspots and deradicalisation. Under-Secretary-General Voronkov noted the work done to strengthen border management, implementation of the Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Records (PNR).

In this regard, he expressed the readiness of the UN to provide further assistance to Sri Lanka in future endeavours in integrating with the API/PNR system and in countering violent extremism. He assured that his office would coordinate with the GoSL on the priorities, during an upcoming visit to Sri Lanka.

ASG Coninsx welcomed close engagement and the high level of cooperation between the CTED and Sri Lanka. Coninsx said that the UN is developing a framework for cooperation with Sri Lanka. This will include measures to be taken that would help Sri Lanka to be compliant with international counter-terrorism obligations under relevant Security Council Resolutions on returning foreign terrorist fighters and countering violent extremism, as well as border security. Secretary Aryasinha said Sri Lanka was adopting a whole-of-Government approach in addressing the areas of concern and that it was important that programmes of assistance are tangible and can be integrated within Sri Lanka’s plans. In this regard, the ASG and the Foreign Secretary agreed on the need for both GoSL and the UN to work together to identify tangible actions which will serve the interest of the country.

The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) was established through the adoption of General Assembly resolution 71/291 on June 15, 2017, to enhance coordination and coherence across the 38 Global Counter-Terrorism Coordination Compact (former CTITF) Task Force, to strengthen counter-terrorism capacity-building assistance to the Member States, and to improve visibility, advocacy and resource mobilization for United Nations counter-terrorism efforts. The CTED was established by the UN Security Council as a special political mission to assist the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) and is tasked with carrying out the policy decisions of the CTC, conducting expert assessments of Member States and facilitating counter-terrorism technical assistance to countries.


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