Statement by Justin Siberell,
Acting Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism
United Nations Office at Geneva
Thursday, April 7, 2016
The United States appreciates the leadership of the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations for holding this important conference to build global support for the necessity of adopting comprehensive measures to prevent and counter violent extremism.
The United States is deeply committed to elevating and enhancing efforts to counter violent extremism, building on the White House CVE Summit process initiated in 2015 by President Obama. As we work to counter Da’esh and other terrorist groups, it is not enough to defeat such groups militarily; we must also harness all other tools available to us, diplomatic, economic, development, and the strength of our communities to degrade and ultimately destroy Da’esh. We have to prevent Da’esh from radicalizing, recruiting, and inspiring others to violence in the first place.
The Secretary General’s Plan of Action provides a useful framework for a whole-of-UN approach to preventing violent extremism. We also strongly support its core recommendation that each Member State develop its own national action plan to prevent and counter violent extremism, and underscore the importance of involving a diverse range of government and non-government stakeholders in the development and implementation of such plans. Progress can only be achieved through an integrated approach that includes national and local governments, the private sector, youth, women, religious and educational leaders, and civil society more broadly.
This summer’s 10th anniversary of the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy provides a critical opportunity to further solidify the Plan of Action as, in effect, an implementing annex to the Strategy’s Pillar I, addressing the conditions conducive for the spread of terrorism, and Pillar IV on human rights and the rule of law. Finally, given the demands we have all placed on the UN system, we agree with the suggestion made by the Secretary-General in his December 22 letter to the President of the General Assembly that we re-evaluate the suitability of existing UN CT/PVE arrangements. Our goal should be to mainstream prevention and CVE-related analysis and programming for Member States, especially through work in field missions.