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The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

12 February 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States by H.E. Mr. João Vale de Almeida, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the General Assembly on Agenda Items 16 and 117: Culture of peace; The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

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Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and its Member States.

The Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA country Iceland, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and Georgia align themselves with this statement.

This debate offers a new opportunity for the EU and its MS to reiterate their support to the Secretary General Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE).

We are still analysing the concrete recommendations from the perspective of coherence and coordination, including the funding aspects, with ongoing initiatives conducted by UN and non-UN entities. But, certainly, this Plan of Action constitutes a clear and balanced tool to help States in their efforts to prevent violent extremism.

We welcome connections the Plan of Action makes between preventing conflicts and preventing violent extremism. A conflict prevention and peacebuilding approach applied at all levels can indeed make a significant contribution to PVE; this approach includes: (1) promoting good governance, including through security sector reform; (2) tackling political, social and economic exclusion and (3) promoting human rights and opportunities for all. We also welcome the links made by the Plan of action with Sustainable Development Goals, including the gender perspective.

Mr. President,

Most of the Plan’s content reflects what the EU has been working on for more than a decade now. Internally, the EU has already its own prevention Strategy since 2004, reviewed on 2014, and a general EU CT Strategy from 2005 which includes prevention as one of its pillars. Moreover, the EU Foreign Terrorist Fighters Strategy and regional action plans, like the ones for Syria, Iraq and the Sahel, include prevention of radicalisation as a key priority. The Conclusions adopted by the Council of the EU on 9 February 2015 stated the need to establish Counter-Terrorism Action Plans which include CVE with priority to countries in the MENA region. The EU is also actively participating in several initiatives such as the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), the Hedayah Centre in Abu Dhabi and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) which are mobilizing expertise aimed at preventing violent extremism. As you can see, EU internal and external efforts on prevention are in line with the UN Plan of Action.

Mr. President,

We welcome today’s resolution by which the international community sends a united message of engagement in the prevention of violent extremism. The matter will remain high on our agenda and we are looking forward to engaging in further discussions in the context of the upcoming Geneva conference in April and of the 10th anniversary Review of the UN Global CT Strategy in June.

* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Ref: EUUN16-009EN
EU source: European Union
UN forum: UNGA
Date: 12/2/2016

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