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UN chief Antonio Guterres on Tuesday, May 7 appreciated India for its continued support to the world body's counter-terrorism work, as a flagship program was launched to support member states to help prosecute suspected terrorists.
The United Office of Counter-Terrorism launched the 'UN Countering Terrorist Travel Program' which is funded by India, Japan, the Netherlands, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Senior UN official Jelle Postma told PTI that India helped the UN agencies get the programme started with its contribution of USD 250,000, giving them a push in the right direction and now other donors are also stepping in.
India's support was highly appreciated by the UN, he said.
Postma said the United Office of Counter-Terrorism and other agencies involved in the effort are hoping to engage further with India to examine how this cooperation can be prolonged.
It helps India as well to be more safe too, he said.
Guterres referred to the recent terror attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka to expressed concern over the spread of the scourge of terrorism while warning about the dramatic movement of terrorists around the world.
Sri Lanka is among the first confirmed beneficiary States of the programme. The island nation came under attack on Easter Sunday as terrorists killed over 250 people.
"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 United Nations system and beyond," Guterres said at the official launch of the programme in the General Assembly hall.
The UN Chief stressed the UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme is about helping to meet these objectives.
Expressing gratitude to the Dutch Government for its generous contribution to the effort, Guterres said "I also appreciate the continued support of the Governments of India, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Qatar to the counter-terrorism work of the United Nations".
India is at the forefront of efforts at the UN to combat terrorism and ensure that perpetrators of heinous terror attacks are brought to justice.
Merely days after Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar was listed as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, India gave a clarion call for strengthening efforts to adopt the long-pending Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism for countering the global scourge.
India had proposed a draft document on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism at the UN in 1986 but it has not been implemented as there is no unanimity on the definition of terrorism among the member states.
The program aims to support member states to use travel information to detect, prevent, investigate and prosecute suspected terrorists, while respecting high safeguards for data protection and in compliance with international human rights laws.