Countering Violent Extremism: What Are the Key Challenges for the United Nations?

Author : Naureen Chowdhury Fink
Date : November 2015

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to roll out a plan of action to improve multilateral efforts on countering violent extremism (CVE), or what the United Nations increasingly calls “preventing” violent extremism, known under the acronym PVE. The forthcoming UN plan of action on preventing violent extremism will cap an intense year for new policies and programs in the field, which kicked off during the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism hosted by President Barack Obama and followed up at the opening of the UN General Assembly. The article explores why CVE is more critical than ever and why it is important to differentiate CVE from traditional counterterrorism measures. Looking ahead to discussions among member states and the UN system on a plan of action on CVE, the article encourages states to invest sufficient political capital to ensure that the outcome is best suited to their strategic goals. Overall, the article underscores that CVE measures represent a valuable opportunity to shape more concrete prevention efforts with an urgency that reflects the scale of the challenge.

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