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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Montréal, 13 February 2016 - Secretary-General's remarks at Centre for Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence


I thank the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence for inviting me to see its important work first-hand.

The focus on preventing violent extremism is critical. This is one of the gravest threats in our world today – and it demands innovative, effective and dignified responses.

I am very interested in your approach. You are focused on helping individuals and families before the problems escalate. This is compassionate and effective.

I have made the prevention of violent extremism a new priority for the United Nations. That is why I presented a new Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism last month to the United Nations General Assembly. It stresses the importance of addressing the drivers of violent extremism.

The Plan proposes an “All-of-Government” and “All-of-Society approach”.

We must break down the silos between the peace and security, sustainable development, human rights and humanitarian actors at all levels—including at the United Nations.

We must also engage all sectors of society – religious leaders, women leaders, youth groups, leaders in the arts, music and sports, as well as the media and private sector.

We must understand what motivates those we suspect are vulnerable to narratives promoting violent extremism and deepen our knowledge of the conditions that lead to their vulnerability. I am sure that we can learn from your experience.

Understanding these phenomena is not the same as justifying them – and it allows us to develop effective preventive responses.

When we engage directly with communities, we can greatly contribute to addressing the underlying causes of violent extremism that can lead to terrorism.

Local initiatives can rebuild trust between governments and communities.

You can help promote human rights and heal broken societies.

When we put human rights at the centre of our response to violent extremism, we can succeed in opening a safer and more stable future for all.

Your local efforts are helping us to forge a global response that tackles the problems we face in a principled, participatory and comprehensive manner.

These strong partnerships will generate success.

Thank you.


Statements on 13 February 2016