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UK Statement at the UN Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism, 8 April 2016

Statement delivered by Baroness Anelay to the Geneva Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism, 8 April 2016.

Palais des Nations, United Nations Geneva plenary session
The Preventing Violent Extremism Conference takes place at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

Your Excellencies,

In the wake of recent attacks in Pakistan and Brussels, we are reminded again of the real – and increasingly violent – threat from extremists who seek to undermine the core values that bind us as UN members.

The United Kingdom congratulates the UN Secretary General on achieving a strong basis for international action through his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

We urge fellow Member States to commit to implementation of the Plan and wish to seize this opportunity to engage on ambitious and practical next steps.

We also urge all UN agencies to define their role and make commitments to support implementation of the Plan.

The Plan rightly promotes a whole of UN approach to tackling the root causes of extremism and the harm it does to individuals and communities around the world. The active engagement of UN development, human rights, refugee and humanitarian agencies is vital for successful delivery and we strongly welcome their participation in this forum.

We now look to the UN’s senior leadership to drive forward this crucial agenda.

The forthcoming review of the Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in June is our opportunity to reform existing UN architecture to ensure successful PVE delivery across the whole UN system.

The UK looks forward to continuing discussions on this important issue with a view to securing agreement by UNGA later this year.

The United Kingdom’s own approach is set out in our cross-government Counter-Extremism Strategy. We stand ready to share with others both our vision and the lessons we have learnt. We also wish to learn from others’ national experiences.

We remain committed to supporting international efforts on this agenda, and are, for example:

  • Supporting UN bodies to develop a global strategy for countering extremist narratives and to reshape strategies and programmes

  • Supporting as Co-Chair, the GCTF Working Group on CVE, and working with our UAE partners to increase the Working Group’s expertise on CVE

  • Increasing our contribution to the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund brings our total financial support to £1million

  • Continuing our financial and staffing support to the International Institute for Justice and the Hedayah Centre of Excellence

  • Supporting the establishment, with Australia, of the Commonwealth Countering Violent Extremism Unit

In conclusion, let us demonstrate collectively that we can defeat violent extremism with robust measures that protect the peace-building goals that unite us, and make progress on this important agenda in advance of UNGA 2016.

Thank you.

Published 8 April 2016