Joint Statement on Countering Violent Extremism
28th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Read by the Ambassador, Filloreta Kodra, Permament Representative of Albania to the United Nations in Geneva, on behalf of 77 countries.
- I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of a group of 77 countries. We wish to underscore our commitment to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations, while promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- We share the concerns expressed by the Human Rights Council regarding the increasing and serious human rights abueses and violations of international humanitarian law by violent extremist groups, including those involving unlawful killing, the deliberate targeting of civilians, forced conversions, targeted persecution of individuals on the basis of their religion or belief, displacement and abduction, abuses of women and minors, and acts of violence against members of ethnic and religious minorities, as well as sieges against civilians in villages inhabited by minorities.
- We reaffirm that acts, methods and practices of violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations are activities aimed at the destruction of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democracy, threatening territorial integrity, security of states and destabilizing legitimately constituted Governments, and that the international community should take the necessary steps to enhance cooperation to prevent and combat violent extremism.
- We recognize that efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the peaceful democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies, and reject the premise that violence is the only way to achieve changes in societies faced with violent extremism. We further recognize that violent extremism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, or civilization.
- We deplore the suffering caused by violent extremism to the victims of violent extremism and their families in all its forms and manifestations, express our profound solidarity with them, encourage states to provide them with proper support and assistance while taking into account, when appropriate, considerations regarding remembrance, dignity, respect, justice and truth, in accordance with international law.
- We reaffirm that states must ensure that any measures taken to counter violent extremism comply with all their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law, and international humanitarian law.
- We encourage states to engage with members of relevant local communities and nongovernmental actors in developing strategies to counter the violent extremist narrative that can incite terrorist acts and address the conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism, including by empowering youth, women, religious, cultural and education leaders, and members of all other concerned groups of civil society and adopting tailored approaches to countering recruitment to this kind of violent extremism and promoting social inclusion and cohesion.
- We reaffirm the commitment of states to take measures aimed at raising the awareness of and addressing the conditions conducive to violent extremism. These conditions include but are not limited to prolonged unresolved conflicts, dehumanization of victims of violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations; lack of the rule of law, respect for human rights, and good governance; and discrimination, political exclusion, and socioeconomic marginalization based on ethnicity, nationality, gender, or religion or belief. We also recognize that none of these conditions can excuse or justify acts of violent extremism.
- We note that violations of human rights by states may contribute to radicalization and recruitment, and reaffirm the importance of Pillar 4 of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. We call upon states and entities involved in supporting countering violent extremism efforts to continue to facilitate the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, as well as due process and the rule of law.
- We emphasize that effectively preventing the spread of violent extremism requires international, localized, specialized, and expanded efforts. We reinforce the need to further empower youth, and women, as well as religious, cultural and education leaders, and all other concerned civil society actors, and to adopt tailored approaches, including those sensitive to local cultures and religious beliefs, to address this phenomenon.
- We note that laws and policies designed to address violent extremism should promote the enjoyment of the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, movement, and religion or belief. We also note the importance of ensuring that civil society has an enabling environment to develop, promote, and advance comprehensive solutions to address violent extremism, as the contributions of civil society are essential to these efforts.
- As members and observers of the Human Rights Council, we believe that the international community must continue to take further steps building upon the UN Charter and prior work of this and other UN bodies on this critical issue. We look forward to further attention to this topic in the Council
St. Kitts & Nevis