Sri Lanka to benefit from UN programme to counter terrorism

Sri Lanka will be one of the first confirmed beneficiaries of the UN’s Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, which was launched on 7 May and is largely funded by the Netherlands.

The travel programme – launched under the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate of the UN – encompasses a global interactive advanced passenger information system called ‘goTravel,’ which is owned and operated by the UN, and helps obtain passenger data from airlines, conducts a targeted analysis and shares the findings for further assessment.

Member states can adopt this goTravel solution to enable the automated analysis of large volumes of passenger data.

The system will detect and investigate terrorist offenses and related travel by using Advance Passenger Information (API) and passenger name record (PNR) data.

The Countering Terrorist Travel Programme will be tailor-made to the host nation, and a Passenger Information Unit will help integrate the system locally while also facilitating interaction with multiple agencies and datasets internationally.

Speaking at the launch, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN Amrith Perera stated that Sri Lanka “grapples with a new kind of terrorist threat,” and added: “[we will bring] local regulation on countering violent extremism and harbouring terrorist fighters.”

Meanwhile, Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres said: “The recent despicable attacks in Kenya, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, among others, are tragic reminders of the global reach of the scourge of terrorism. These attacks underscore the need to work closely with partners across the UN system and beyond.”