Working together against violent extremism & radicalisation

State Secretary Laila Bokhari Radicalization - Shared Challenge or Dividing Threat? How the West/Europe and Muslim majority countries face radicalization Remarks at the Indonesian Foreign Policy Community Jakarta, January 2017

The Oslo conference also paved the way for a new global alliance of women´s organizations working on preventing violent extremism. Extremists also understand the power of women, so they want them on their side. At the same time, they attack women´s rights and silence women who offer an alternative vision of society. But it is exactly these voices that must be heard, and the alliance will provide an opportunity for grassroots organizations to have their voices heard. Since the alliance was launched one and a half year ago, more than 90 partner organizations have joined from 29 countries.

Because of the need to pay more attention to the gender dimensions of violent extremism, Norwegian Prime Minister Solberg launched a mechanism for consultations between governments and women’s organizations at the UN General Assembly last year. The mechanism is called Global Solutions Exchange. 

There is a lot of discussion about what conditions are conducive to terrorism and violent extremism, and how we can overcome it.  Norway believes that ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law is the most important thing we can do to overcome terrorism and violent extremism. It is by relentlessly respecting the rules of democracy that we will succeed. 

Globally, countries should come together and work collectively to counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism. Much of this important work is happening in the United Nations. The UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted by consensus by the General Assembly in 2006 is a good starting point. The Secretary General’s Plan of Action for Preventing Violent Extremism that was presented last year took the work a step further.

Norway believes the role of the UN should be further strengthened by the appointment of a designated high level coordinator of counter terrorism and preventing violent extremism. The new Secretary General, António Guterres, has underlined the importance of UN ‘s peace efforts, and we hope he will address this issue.  

Poverty alone is not the sole cause of violent extremism. Nevertheless, marginalization, whether economic, social or political, is often an important element in the process of radicalization resulting in violent extremism. Terrorism also has a deep impact on economic development. 

The adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular goal 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies is highly relevant to countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. It provides an international framework for a broad approach. It addresses the root causes of terrorism and contributes towards building robust societies that are less vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism. 

The world is getting more and more complex, and countries are interlinked in new ways. What is happening in one country can have far reaching consequences for another country in a completely different part of the world. New technology has increased the speed. Changes are happening much faster now than only a decade ago. 

These factors make the study of foreign policy and international relations more difficult, but also more important than ever. We need to understand the world we are living in, and we need to find ways of making the world better and safer.  

As the threats we are facing are transnational in their nature, so are the solutions. We must all stand up against terrorism and violent extremism. As I said earlier, terrorism can never be tolerated regardless of political, ideological or religious motivations. Terrorism is a crime. 

 We must increase international cooperation and understanding across different regions, countries, communities and cultures if we want to achieve our goal. Students of foreign policy play an important role in this regard. 

[Kami Tida Takut!] 

Thank you for your attention.