High-level Thematic Conversation on Children and Youth affected by Violent Extremism

 3 June 2016


Violent extremism represents one of the most complex challenges faced by our global community today. Our children and youth are often the most vulnerable to the scourge of radicalization and violence. The threats faced by youth and children require the United Nations to double its efforts and refine its responses to addressing the challenges of violent extremism.

In this regard, the President of the UN General Assembly will host a High Level Thematic Conversation (HLTC) of the General Assembly on 3 June 2016. The HLTC will be structured around several High Level Panel Discussions addressing the versatile nature of threats of violent extremism to children and youth, as well as examine ways to strengthen prevention efforts and reinforce existing strategies to counter violent extremism with a specific focus on children and youth.

The HLTC will offer key stakeholders a platform to discuss the “push and pull” factors that may lead to radicalization and violent extremism, as well as to share good practices that promote rehabilitation and social integration of children and youth involved in acts of violent extremism.

Program for children in violent

10:00am – 10:40am


Moderator: Prof. Peter Neumann, Professor of Security Studies at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London


H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70thSession of the General Assembly
H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
H.E. Mr. Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs, State of Qatar
H.E. Mr. Jan Jambon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Security and Home Affairs, Kingdom of Belgium
H.E Mr. Tiémoko Touré, Minister for Youth Promotion, Employment of Young People and Civic Service, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
Ms. Zaad AlKhair, 17-year old Syrian Refugee (video message)

10:45am – 11:50am

HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE PANEL DISCUSSION I: Preventing Children and Youth from Radicalization

The panelists will focus on a number of the “push and pull” factors that may lead to radicalization. Panelists will be asked to present examples of good preventative practices, discuss challenges, and assess effectiveness and initiative.  Presenters will also be asked to address how children and youth (including young women and girls) can be key actors in building resilience within their communities and in developing remedies and solutions. 


Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, Netherlands
Mr. Ahmed Abaddi, Secretary-General, Rabita Mohammadia des Oulemas, Morocco
Ms. Leila Zerrougui, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict

11:55am – 01:00pm

HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE PANEL DISCUSSION II: From Radicalization to Violent Extremism

The panel will address context and point out risk factors – global and local that could push radicalized children and youth into violent extremism. The panel will also discuss lessons learned on ways to protect the rights of children and youth and to prevent them from falling into violent extremism.


Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, SG’s Envoy on Youth
Dr. Omar Ashour, Director, Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK
Mr. Herman Deparice-Okomba, Executive Director, Montreal’s Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, Canada

03:00pm – 04:30pm

HIGH-LEVEL INTERACTIVE PANEL DISCUSSION III: Deradicalisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration 

The panel will focus on sharing good practices and persisting challenges in promoting rehabilitation and social integration of children and youth who got involved with violent extremism and crime as well as in the response of criminal justice systems.


Mr. Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC
Mr. Ercan Nik Nafs, Ombudsman for Children and Youth, Vienna
Mr. Mubinoddin Shaikh (PhD candidate), former Taliban radical
Mr. Jehangir Khan, Director CTITF

04:30pm – 05:50pm


The session will address current efforts undertaken by UN agencies, foundations and private sector to support Member States to effectively deal with children and youth associated with violent extremist groups, including terrorist groups.


Mr. Mossarat Qadeem, The Institute for Inclusive Security
Mr. Mohammed AbdulAziz Al Naimi, CEO Silatech Foundation, State of Qatar
Colonel Yahya Abu Mughaied, Director of Research, Prince Mohammed Bin Naif Center for Counseling and Care, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mr. Mike Jobbins, Director of Global Affairs and Partnerships, Search for Common Ground

05:50pm – 06:00pm


H.E. Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President of the 70th Session of the General Assembly

06:30pm – 08:30pm


by invitation only

For any additional information, please check our FAQ .