Speaking at an open debate on countering terrorism, United Nations Secretary-General today called on Member States to take more concrete steps to stop fundraising through the smuggling of oil and gas, the illicit trade of cultural artefacts, kidnapping for ransom and donations from abroad.
He noted that more than 30,000 people from all over the world have joined Da’esh’s campaigns in Iraq and Syria, and warned that the terrorist group – also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – has shown an ability to radicalize and recruit disaffected youth, including women and girls, through strategies involving the Internet and social media.
“We must also curtail the ability to abuse and misuse the Internet and social media to radicalize and recruit young people, by identifying global and regional solutions that involve governments, private enterprise and civil society,” Mr. Ban told UN Security Council members.
“Strategies to counter the threat of online radicalization will also require legislative and law enforcement measures at the national level,” he stressed, adding that to stem the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, nations should intervene at all stages – from their initial radicalization to their travel and return.
The UN chief recently returned from Switzerland, where, together with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter, he co-chaired the Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, where many Ministers and Heads of regional and UN organizations, as well as civil society representatives, came together to focus on solutions.
Two weeks ago, the Nuclear Security Summit meeting in Washington, D.C., adopted an important Action Plan in support of the key role the United Nations can play in mitigating the threat and managing the response to the possible use by terrorists of nuclear, chemical, biological and radiological materials.
“Recent attacks around the world have destroyed lives, heightened fear and defied all norms of international law and our common humanity,” Mr. Ban said today. “Terrorism and violent extremism are global threats, transcending cultures and geographical boundaries. They should not be associated with any one religion, nationality or ethnic group.”
While recognizing the importance of measures to counter terrorism, he said the global community also needs to engage earlier and address the drivers of violent extremism: “We know that violent extremism flourishes when groups are marginalized, political space shrinks, human rights are abused and people lack prospects and meaning in their lives. My Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism asks each country to develop a National Plan that engages key communities and focuses on conflict prevention,” he recalled.
The Secretary-General’s action plan also calls for the resolution of long-standing conflicts, which would give hope to those enduring oppression and eradicate the breeding grounds of violent extremism and terrorism.
Source: United Nations
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