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Policy Dialogue on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: National Experiences and Best Practices

Recent terrorist attacks have shot the question of Countering violent extremism (CVE) to the top of the multilateral agenda. What do national experiences and best practices tell us about the prevention and the fight against violent extremism?


GCSP - Maison de la paix

A policy dialogue hosted by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and co-organized with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Permanent Mission of the United States of America fostered experiences sharing and exchanges among key international, governmental and non-governmental actors in order to come up with innovative measures to prevent and counter violent extremism.

This dialogue brought together states representatives from 24 countries, including Morocco, the United States of America, Jordan, Bangladesh, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Ethiopia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain, Switzerland, Peru, Senegal, Turkey, Mali, Tunisia, France, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Rwanda, Denmark, Colombia, the President of the Human Rights Council, academics and 10 think tanks coming from all over the world.

This exchange of views comes at a time where both the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council have taken up this issue through important resolutions adopted in 2014 and 2015. Morocco and the United States took the lead together with a cross regional group of states that led to the adoption of the first resolution on PCVE and Human Rights during the 30th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The event was also an opportunity to address CVE comprehensively. In particular, at a time where the UN Secretary-General and specialised agencies are developing multi-stakeholder plans to address this global challenge and following the second Leaders’ Summit on CVE held in New York in September.

During the course of this event, most participants acknowledged that in order to efficiently tackle the question of PCVE, a global answer was necessary. National and regional initiatives only can work in conjunction with multilateral initiatives which includes the organization of summits, such as the one which took place in Washington in February 2015, and the adoption of resolutions by relevant UN bodies. Civil society, including community leaders, should be involved as much as possible in this process. Positive national experiences should be shared and imported depending on the context.

Another key issue that has been underlined by many participants is the need to conceptualize the issue of CVE going beyond the root causes and main grievances that lead individuals to radicalization. This effort of understanding ought to be comprehensive. Finally, the importance of undertaking collective action has been stressed out by almost all participants. Preventing and countering violent extremism is a whole-of-society effort that requires an integrated approach that seeks to address the security, religious, social and human rights dimensions.

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