“Preventing violent extremism calls for new forms of action, by States, by international organizations, at every level”, said Director-General Irina Bokova at a high-level luncheon hosted by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of the annual retreat of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Taskforce (CTITF) on 17 March, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The event brought together principals and senior representatives from CTITF entities, including a large number of UN agencies, to explore the way forward on the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
Together with the Secretary-General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the Director-General highlighted the importance of coordination and urgent mobilization across the UN to act and achieve greater impact in preventing violent extremism.
“What we do know is that “hard power” is not enough to counter a threat fueled by exclusive ideological visions, based on distorted interpretations of faith, hatred and ignorance - we must seek to prevent it”, stressed Irina Bokova, “It must begin by empowering young people, especially young women, so that they can live up to their potential as positive change actors”, she added.
This echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement that “prevention should come first” in the UN’s collective efforts to address violent extremism, considering its added-value in addressing the multiple and complex political, economic and social root causes of radicalization.
“The UN needs to think urgently together, to act and deliver as one to counter the threat of violent extremism”, concluded the Secretary-General.