UN chief for holistic approach to tackle extremism

Geneva, April 8 (IANS) UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday that a paradigm shift was needed to address violent extremism affecting communities across the globe.

“Violent extremism is a direct assault on the UN charter and the universal declaration of human rights,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

“It represents a grave threat to international peace and security,” he said here.

In recent years, the international community’s response to violent extremism has centered on countering the threat though Ban cautioned that security and military actions alone cannot defeat the spread of groups such as IS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram.

“We need a more comprehensive and balanced approach that addresses the drivers of violent extremism,” he said.

A UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism was launched this year, providing over 70 recommendations to member states to catalyze international responses to address the challenge.

According to the UN, the “plan calls for a comprehensive approach encompassing not only essential security-based counter-terrorism measures but also systematic preventive steps to address the underlying conditions that drive individuals to radicalize and join violent extremist groups.

“We must take united action in order to save succeeding generations. We need to act quickly to restore a legacy of hope and promise to our youth,” Ban said.

“Today we are sending an important message that the countries of the UN are united in action and to prevent the scourge of violent extremism,” he added.

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