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UK and United Arab Emirates launch taskforce to prevent violent extremism

Declaration of Intent signed during meeting in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly

The United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 21 September launched a new taskforce to help prevent violent extremism. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and UAE Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nayan committed to a continued partnership and support for Hedayah, the Abu Dhabi-based International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, during their meeting in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly.

Signing the joint Declaration of Intent, Boris Johnson said:

Violent extremism is a global problem that requires global leadership and local partnerships. The UK has a close friend and partner in the United Arab Emirates, and I am grateful to the Emirati Government for their continued leadership and commitment as together we tackle the scourge of extremism.

The UK and UAE support for Hedayah will help governments develop and implement comprehensive national action plans to prevent violent extremism and support a range of practical programmes, including community policing and addressing the global threat posed by returning foreign terrorist fighters. Senior British experts have been seconded to Hedayah to spearhead work on national action plans and capacity-building programmes.

Notes to editors

  • The UK and the UAE have served as the co-chairs of the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum working group on Countering Violent Extremism since 2011. Hedayah acts as the operational arm of this working group. Since its establishment in Abu Dhabi in December 2012, Hedayah has grown into a world-leading organisation in the shared effort to counter violent extremism.
  • The UK has committed to providing around $1.4m USD to support Hedayah’s programmes in 2016-17 and a similar amount over each of the financial years to March 2020, subject to performance, budget availability and impact assessment.
  • The Task Force on national action plans to prevent and counter violent extremism will help governments implement the appeal by the UN Secretary-General and British Prime Minister Theresa May to all countries to develop comprehensive national responses to the global challenge of extremism.