Fatal Flaws in UN plan to Prevent Violent Extremism

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon recently unveiled a plan to prevent violent extremism, appealing for a shift towards more preventative ways of dealing with the global issue of terrorism.

The plan goes some way in identifying some of the contributing factors that lead to violent extremism, claiming that the problem “does not arise in a vacuum”.

The UN highlights that “narratives of grievance, actual or perceived injustice, promised empowerment and sweeping change become attractive where human rights are being violated, good governance is being ignored and aspirations are being crushed.” The plan also acknowledges the importance of gender equality and the role of youth in preventing violent extremism.

The plan recommends: - Setting policy framework (Global Framework, National and Regional plans of action, Mobilising resources) - Taking action (Dialogue and conflict prevention, strengthening good governance and human rights, empowering youth, engaging with communities, generating gender equality, providing education and employment) - Supporting Member States, regional bodies and communities (through the UN)

But the plan has drawn criticism from some experts in the field. We spoke with Richard Atwood from International Crisis Group on the strengths and weaknesses of the plan.

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