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STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE DATO’ SRI ANIFAH AMAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF MALAYSIA AT THE GENEVA CONFERENCE ON PREVENTING VIOLENT EXTREMISM – THE WAY FORWARD GENEVA, SWITZERLAND; FRIDAY, 8 APRIL 2016

Mr. Co-chairs,

 

Allow me to express my sincere appreciation to the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations for convening this Conference.

 

2.      Violent extremism has and will affect all States.  Preventing it has to be done with urgency, and it has to be comprehensive and sustained.  International cooperation is required, and all countries need to negate violent ideologies, and highlight positive values.

 

3.      For the world to better address violent extremism, the factors that cause or contribute towards the radicalisation of individuals or groups of people need to be understood.  Whether called root causes, conditions conducive for, or drivers of violent extremism – conceptually they are the same.  And these can be political, economic or social.  They can be due to a multiplicity of factors, including prolonged and grievous injustice, unequal access to resources and opportunities, gross violations of human rights, foreign occupation, and systematic discrimination.

 

4.      The absence of a clear definition of violent extremism at the international level, and broad definitions used at national levels, should not complicate international cooperation in addressing violent extremism.  What is clear is that violent extremism has no place – anywhere.  It cannot be associated with any country, race or religion.  It cannot be associated with any culture or nationality.  It cannot be justified in any way or form. What is also clear is for us to continue to take decisive and preventive actions – at the national, regional and international level. 

 

5.      Malaysia welcomes the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.  The Plan of Action provides a basis on how Member States could address this issue.

 

6.      While the Plan of Action recommends for Members States to develop their own National Action Plan to prevent violent extremism, Malaysia has moved forward in strengthening our legal framework, in particular through our Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015 and the Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Act 2015.  We have also reinforced the administrative and operational capacities of our law enforcement authorities.

 

7.      In an effort to counter the threat posed by terrorism through the digital media, Malaysia, through the Southeast Asia Regional Centre for Counter-Terrorism (SEARCCT), has initiated the Digital Strategic Communications Division – premised on the soft approach in countering the online narrative put forth by the terrorists.  The focus of this initiative would be two-fold.  Firstly, to contest the terrorist rhetoric and agenda in the Southeast Asian region in the digital space by exposing their misinformation and disinformation, and secondly, to produce counter narrative end-products to win the hearts and minds of the people.

 

8.      In promoting regional and international cooperation, Malaysia had hosted the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism in October 2015, and in January 2016, Malaysia had hosted the International Conference on Deradicalisation and Countering Violent Extremism.  

 

9.      Malaysia continues to promote moderation, and the Global Movement of Moderates – which calls for countries to censure and reject extremism and support moderation.  Malaysia believes that the practice of moderation should be embraced globally.  In April 2015, the leaders of ASEAN affirmed this approach, enshrined in the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Co-chairs,

 

10.    Allow me to conclude by assuring you of Malaysia’s unwavering support and commitment towards preventing violent extremism.  We look forward to engaging constructively with other delegations on the Plan of Action at the upcoming Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy review to be held later in June.

 

Thank you.

 


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