Terrorism and violent extremism: Converging security threats

Remarks by Norway's State Secretary Ms. Laila Bokhari on anti-terror and combatting violent extremism, 1 February 2017.

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Thank you, Deeyah for your powerful voice, your work and for using your platform so well. Thank you for reminding us why we are here. Thank you all for being here.

Thank our partners – Bangladesh and Jordan – for co-hosting this event. Bangladesh, Jordan and Norway have collaborated closely on issues pertaining to prevention of terrorism and extremism over the last few years.

The security environment has changed, and is changing rapidly. The developments over the past few weeks underlines the need to combat threats from non-state actors in the form of terrorism, violent extremism, and organized crime. Non-state actors have become a major source for conflict and instability in a growing number of regions. Terrorism is not only over there, it concerns us all.

Now in all of this it becomes more important than ever to stand together, be principled and continue to focus on our core values. Not only what we are against but also what we are for. 

We are pleased that the new Secretary General is calling for a strengthened nexus between peace and security. We need an effective, cohesive and adaptable UN that is equipped to tackle these new security challenges.

For Norway CVE/PVE is high on our agenda. Our own experience from 2011 has shown us the need to work closely with civil society, women, youth and local communities. Along with the Women´s Alliance for Security Leadership, we support the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN), the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), Strong Cities Initiative and the Norwegian Center for Research on Extremism, C-REX.

Norway believes that the Secretary General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism is an important contribution. Implementation of the plan requires that that the UN streamline and coordinate its core activities related to conflict prevention, development, education and other fields considered essential for countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism. All this in close cooperation with Member States.

The UN’s ability to support member states through capacity building efforts and sharing of best practices must be enhanced.

There is a need for a strategic coordinator for CT and PVE at the UN in order to bring greater coherence and a high-level focus to these issues.  This should be a senior UN diplomat with the appropriate rank to liaise at the highest levels with member states, UN departments and agencies, and outside stakeholders and partners.

We have come a long way since 2001. Important to acknowledge Al the god work that has been done, now it is time to take Stock, review and move on. We appreciate the Secretary General’s initial signals with regard to exploring options for new institutional arrangements and we look forward to receiving those at his earliest opportunity.

Thank you.