By: Fatoumata Joof, Information Officer, Ministry of Interior
The Honourable Minister of Interior Mr. Seyaka Sonko, on behalf of the Government of The Gambia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) on Tuesday 6th September 2022.
The signing of MoU which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, marked the formalization of a joint partnership toward preventing and Countering Terrorist travel and serious crimes through the United Nations ‘go Travel software’ by collecting and using Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR) data.
At the signing ceremony, the Honourable Minister of Interior, Mr. Seyaka Sonko thanked the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for making this event possible. Honourable Sonko described the MoU as an important initiative that will contribute immensely to the efforts of UNOCT and Government of the Republic of The Gambia in the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and related travel. Minister Sonko reaffirmed Government of the Gambia’s commitment in the fight against terrorist threats and reassured UNOCT of his Ministry’s support in the implementation of the provisions of the MoU on Countering Terrorism Travel programme (CTTP).
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Counter-Terrorism, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov thanked and congratulated the Government of the Republic of The Gambia for its ongoing cooperation with UNOCT and in entering pre-production with goTravel and encouraged close cooperation with the UNOCT technical team to ensure the right infrastructure is in place.
‘’ The Memorandum of Understanding is a symbol of the solid joint commitment of the Republic of The Gambia and the UN Countering Terrorist Travel Programme, in line with Security Council resolution 2396 and international standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’’, he said.
The Gambia is one of more than 51 Counter Terrorist Travel (CT Travel) programme beneficiary countries, thus both counterparts agreed that the signed MoU will accelerate the delivery of comprehensive technical assistance to The Gambia under the United Nations Countering Terrorist Travel (CT Travel) programme. Also, the MoU will allow the United Nations to continue supporting The Gambia in enhancing its capabilities to detect and intercept terrorists and other criminals by using travel information and cross-checking the data against INTERPOL and other international and national data bases of known and suspected terrorist and criminals.