Washington: Asserting that countering violent extremism is a difficult challenge but not an insurmountable one, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice has called for a renewed commitment to building a world unmarred by terrorism and ideologies of violence.
"Countering violent extremism is a difficult challenge, but it is not an insurmountable one. Our timeline for success may be measured in years, if not decades, but we will prevail. And that's because, together, we offer what terrorists never can - a positive vision for a more just, more equal, and more peaceful world," Rice said yesterday.
"Let us leave here today with a renewed commitment to building a world unmarred by terrorism and ideologies of violence," Rice said at the end of the three-day White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism which was attended by more than 70 countries including India.
She said President Barack Obama has requested nearly USD 400 million for the State Department to support a wide range of partnerships to counter terrorism, including projects to address violent extremism.
The United States will launch new initiatives to build the capacity of partners in North Africa and the Sahel to develop strategies that counter violent extremism.
"We are going to track our collective progress with future meetings to make sure our efforts remain linked up. Obama has challenged us all to come to the United Nations General Assembly this fall with concrete steps we can take to move forward together," she said, adding that violent extremism isn't unique to any one people or place.
"It's sown tragedy from Boston to Chibok, from Paris to Peshawar, from Ottawa to Sydney to Copenhagen. The bottom line is countering violent extremism is essential to the security of all nations, and no one can meet this challenge alone. To secure our future against terrorist threats, we have to work together as governments and as peoples."
"We have to tackle this challenge from every angle, disrupting terrorist plots, destroying safe havens, and deepening our focus on prevention," Rice said.
She noted that Obama has clearly laid out the work the international community must do to cut off violent extremism at the knees.
"We need to discredit extremist ideologies, address the economic and political grievances that can feed extremism, empower local communities while remaining true to our values. In our meetings, we've begun to build an international agenda for action," she said. Rice said the participating nations have agreed to work more closely as governments to understand the precise nature of threats at the local and regional level and to better coordinate our responses.
"Together we'll invest in more research and regional assessments that can address the unique challenges of countering violent extremism in different contexts. We'll share more information about foreign terrorist fighters and secure our borders against extremists returning from conflict in places like Syria and Iraq."
"We're working together, including at the UN, to develop integrated response strategies that draw on the skills we each possess. Second, as we heard during this summit, effective interventions often begin and grow within local communities. Government partnerships are critical, but the best solutions are often bottom up, not top down. So we'll work more closely with civil society and tap the talents of communities which might otherwise be left on the sidelines," she said.
"Third, we'll keep working to expand opportunity, particularly for marginalised populations."
She said if, from an early age, young people can picture a promising future for themselves and see a path to reaching that future, they will be less likely to turn to violence or terrorism.
"So, in partnership with the private sector and academia, with charitable groups and civil society, and with each other, we're going to increase access to education and offer professional training, leadership skills, and mentorship," Rice said.