Sri Lanka has called for tangible actions which will serve the interest of the country.
Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha who is leading the Sri Lanka delegation to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly, met with Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT) Under-Secretary-General Vladimir Voronkov and his team and Assistant-Secretary-General (ASG) and Counter- Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) Executive Director Michéle Coninsx on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
Aryasinha, while thanking the UN and the international community for condemning the Easter Sunday attacks, and supporting the Government in numerous ways, expressed that the recent visit undertaken by Coninsx provided an opportunity to draw on international best practices in consolidating domestic efforts in countering terrorism and violent extremism among the relevant stakeholders.
Aryasinha also 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). He informed that during the GCERF visit, areas including community policing, youth engagement for social cohesion, monitoring social media, activities targeting vulnerable community hotspots and de-radicalization were identified for immediate attention.
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 endeavors in integrating with the API/PNR system and in countering violent extremism. He assured that his office will coordinate with the GoSL on the priorities, during an upcoming visit to Sri Lanka.
Coninsx informed that the UN is developing a framework for cooperation with Sri Lanka which will include measures to 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.
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.