France appreciates India being part of Christchurch Initiative

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

New York (IANS) French President Emmanuel Macron appreciated India's association with the Christchurch Call to Action, an initiative to combat online terrorism and extremism and secure the internet, named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in an attack on mosques this March.

Macron, in his opening statement at the closed door Leaders' Dialogue on Strategic Responses to Terrorist and Violent Extremist Narratives held on the UNGA sidelines, said on Monday that India's association with the Christchurch Initiative as a democracy representing over a billion people gives it a greater sense of action in dealing with extremism and online use of extremist content.

The Christchurch Call to Action is a voluntary pledge which was signed by 18 countries, including India, and eight major technology companies on May 15. It commits its signatories in a non-binding manner to explore legal, regulatory and technical solutions to counter the online spread of terrorist and violent extremist content.

Briefing the media on the Leaders Dialogue, Gitesh Sarma, Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the participants, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, discussed strategic responses to terrorist and violent extremist narratives and also took stock of the Christchurch Call to Action.

"India's rising stature and strong democratic credentials increasingly resonate in multilateral fora and this was exemplified by French President Emmanuel Macron's opening statement in which he appreciated India's association with the Christchurch Call to Action," said Sarma.

In his address, Modi suggested qualitative upgradation in ongoing intelligence sharing and institutionalising counter terror cooperation at the multilateral level. He said India will work towards capacity building of friendly countries in the field, according to Sarma.

Modi also said that terrorists should not be allowed to get funds and arms and called for the need to avoid politicisation of mechanisms like UN Listings and FATF, adding that these mechanisms need to be enforced and strengthened.

Modi cited India's example and said democratic values, diversity, inclusive development, were the most important weapons against extremist ideologies.

He also called for global solidarity and readiness to counter terrorism in the same way the world has shown solidarity on climate change.

"A terrorist attack anywhere should be considered terrorism and not good or bad terrorism," Modi said, according to Sarma.

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