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U.S. Statement at HRC Panel on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism
March 17, 2016

Panel on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism    

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America as delivered by Keith Harper, US Ambassador to the Human Rights Council

31st Session of the Human Rights Council
March 17, 2016

Thank you Mr. President.

The United States thanks the Secretary-General for his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, including its focus on strengthening good governance, human rights, and the rule of law.  We also thank the diverse range of speakers today. The different perspectives they have presented illustrate well why collaboration across traditional areas of focus is essential.  To comprehensively and effectively address this challenge, government agencies must work better with each other.  Government agencies must also be more open to civil society, which can provide insights and access that can be critical to making interventions more effective and sustainable.

There is also good research indicating the importance of states respecting their human rights obligations if they want to successfully prevent and counter violent extremism.  As President Obama said at the February 2015 White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism: “When people are oppressed and human rights are denied – particularly along sectarian or ethnic lines – when dissent is silenced, it feeds violent extremism.”

Mr. President, our question is as follows:  How can states and civil society work together to ensure that human rights are at the center of efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism?

(end statement)