For information only - not an official document
8 April 2016
Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC):
Statement at the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism
8 April 2016, Geneva
VIENNA/GENEVA, 8 April (UN Information Service) - Deadly terrorist atrocities, such as those in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Lahore and elsewhere, take innocent lives, but they also spread fear, disrupt people's lives and undermine peace, stability and security.
We know who is to blame. The focus of this meeting is on what needs to be done.
The Secretary-General's Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism provides much needed guidance to UN Member States, as well as UN entities.
UNODC works in close cooperation with many countries to strengthen the rule of law and to counter terrorism and violent extremism.
Specifically, UNODC implements several projects on preventing violent extremism from a criminal justice perspective.
In the Middle East and North Africa region and in the Balkan countries we help to address the challenges of foreign terrorist fighters, including their recruitment. Support is also being offered to Central and South-East Asia and the Sahel.
While countering terrorism, preventing human rights violations is essential. We will continue to ensure that such rights are upheld and protected.
Radicalization and recruitment of children and young people by violent extremist groups is rightly highlighted in the Action Plan.
UNODC has developed a project on extremist's treatment of children. The first workshop in the Sahel was held last year on children involved with terrorist groups, especially Boko Haram.
I commend a Swiss initiative on Juvenile Justice in this area, and I am glad that UNODC could contribute to a report on this subject by the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).
UNODC also helps to counter illicit financial flows in support of terrorism through a strong programme, and its chairing of the UN working group on countering the financing of terrorism.
The presence of individuals charged with terrorism offences in prisons is a grave risk to vulnerable inmates who may be radicalized.
UNODC assists countries to reform prison systems and improve prison management. A new tool is being developed to protect the prison population from violent ideologies.
Last November, UNODC organized a meeting on criminal justice responses to terrorism and violent extremism. A report based on the meeting's findings will be issued shortly, thanks to Swiss support.
Overall, UNODC's work forms part of a collaborative approach with a number of UN partners, including the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), the Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and others.
I welcome the opportunity to intensify our engagement with our partners to strengthen our resilience and responses to terrorism and violent extremism.
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