Washington, DC

06 April 2016

Secretary-General's video message to the International Peace and Security Institute Symposium on Countering Violent Extremism

Mr. Cameron M. Chisholm, President of the International Peace & Security Institute, Mrs. Charito Kruvant, CEO of Creative Associates, Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for convening this important Symposium.

Violent extremists assault individuals, communities and our universal values.

The response must reflect our shared commitment to human rights.

Violating human rights in the name of counterterrorism is morally wrong and strategically disastrous.

Terrorists understand this. They are not just bombing people – they are trying to destroy the moral ground we stand on.

We have to do more than counter violent extremism; we have to prevent it.

This is a top priority‎. The United Nations General Assembly has unanimously welcomed my Initiative to launch a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.
I hope the General Assembly will take a further step this June by adopting a strong consensus resolution. That would demonstrate both unity and action in the face of one of the most pressing issues of our time.

As you meet, I am traveling to Geneva for an International Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, which will address key themes raised in the Plan.

I look forward to the results of your Symposium, and I wish you great success.

Thank you.