Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism

In recent years, terrorist groups such as ISIL, Al-Qaida and Boko Haram have shaped our image of violent extremism and the debate about how to address this threat. Their message of intolerance – religious, cultural, social – has had drastic consequences for many regions of the world. Holding territory and using social media for real-time communication of their atrocious crimes, they seek to challenge our shared values of peace, justice and human dignity.

On 15 January 2016 the Secretary-General presented a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to the General Assembly.

On 12 February 2016, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that "welcomes the initiative by the Secretary-General, and takes note of his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism". The General Assembly decided to "give further consideration to the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism beginning in the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy review in June 2016 as well as in other relevant forums". The Assembly concluded its general debate on the plan of action to prevent violent extremism on 16 February.

Co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations, the  Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward took place on 7 and 8 April 2016 at the United Nations Office at Geneva. Building upon the February formal debate of the General Assembly, the Geneva Conference provided an opportunity for the international community to share experiences and good practices in addressing the drivers of violent extremism and to build support for the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action. The first day of the conference day was dedicated to a meeting of senior experts. The second day was the high-level segment of the Conference including interventions at the ministerial level. Heads of international and regional organizations and heads of UN agencies also participated in the discussions on action at the national, regional and global level.  

On 1 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus, resolution (A/RES/70/291) on the Fifth Review of Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy reinforcing global consensus in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism. The General Assembly  recognized the importance of preventing violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism and, recommended that Member States consider the implementation of relevant recommendations of the Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, as applicable to the national context.

About the Plan of Action

In the Plan, the Secretary-General calls for a comprehensive approach encompassing not only essential security-based counter-terrorism measures but also systematic preventive steps to address the underlying conditions that drive individuals to radicalize and join violent extremist groups.

The Plan is an appeal for concerted action by the international community. It provides more than 70 recommendations to Member States and the United Nations System to prevent the further spread of violent extremism.

The Plan is accompanied by a Letter of the Secretary-General to the President of the General Assembly (A/70/675), where the Secretary-General puts forward an “All-of-UN” approach both at Headquarters and in the field to support national, regional and global efforts to prevent violent extremism and assist Member States in developing National Plans of Action.

The Plan was developed through an extensive United Nations inter-agency process and is based on the outcomes of high-level meetings of the General Assembly and Security Council, interactive briefings to Member States and outcomes of international and regional meetings.

Press Kit


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