Statement by the delegation of Ukraine at a UNSC briefing on cooperation between the UN and the OIC

Mr. President,

I would like to thank today’s briefers for their contributions to today’s discussion.

I am grateful to you, Mr. President, for focusing our deliberations on this particular subject. The OIC is active in various fields but today we are discussing cooperation between the two organizations in countering extremist ideology, which has become a topical issue for Member States of both our organizations.

Preventing violent extremism has become one of the most pressing priorities of the international community. This evil and its gravest form — terrorism — threatens our core values and principles, including democracy, human rights, rule of law, equal opportunities, freedom. There is no exaggeration that the very fabric of our societies is under direct attack.

This threat now has global character and thus requires full consolidation of efforts of all international actors and utilization of their comparative advantages.

Therefore, the cooperation between the UN and the OIC in countering terrorist and violent extremist ideologies, advocated by such terrorist entities like ISIL, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, has never been more relevant.

Why is this so important? Because terrorism begins not with guns and bombs but with words. Those who want to plant hatred and intolerance in people’s minds should be stopped before seeds of evil sprout and their disciples turn into merciless tools for killing other people.

These efforts should not be a short media driven campaign. What we need is a comprehensive approach with long-term actions to address violent extremism and its root causes, based on the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

Such a strategy should involve not only countering extremist ideology, disseminated through media and Internet, but also developing persuasive context-specific counter narratives and messages to neutralize terrorists’ influence on persons belonging to the target audience, and to eliminate terrorist focal points of radicalization. While addressing the need to intensify our common work on preventing the spread of malevolent ideologies, we should explore ways to engage young people, who constitute one of the strata most vulnerable to violent extremist and terrorist narratives.

Mr. President,

The UN and OIC can benefit from developing joint projects aimed at strengthening the collective capacity of their Member States to effectively respond to the spread of violent extremist and terrorist ideology and thus prevent individuals and groups from being radicalized to violence.

The focus should be placed on a few priority areas where, in our opinion, cooperation between the UN and OIC could be most effective.

First, consolidation of international political will and expertise to reveal drivers of violent extremism, including gross human rights violations, corrupt institutions and poor governance, as emphasized in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Second, to reduce the appeal of and support for terrorist groups, our joint efforts should combine countering and prevention measures that address governance deficit, promote social development and dialogue, respect for the rule of law and human rights, strategic communications.

Third, further to efforts to double down on fertile grounds for the spread of violent extremism and terrorism, the UN and the OIC can jointly foster a global dialogue for the promotion of tolerance and peace, as well as for better understanding across societies and cultures, including in the framework of the Alliance of Civilizations.

Fourth, relevant international assistance should be provided to Members States in adopting more effective policies and approaches to prevent and counter the spread of violent extremism ideology, inter alia, by developing robust national counter-narrative campaigns.

And finally, more active role should be given to empowering locally credible voices that can help prevent and reverse the spread of violent extremist ideology among the population. This is where the OIC expertise in engaging the civil society and, in particular representatives of local communities and religious leaders, as well as women and youth, could play crucial role. This relates, in particular, to raising public awareness by revealing the truth about would-be jihadists, in order to delegitimize their activities, thus enhancing the resilience against them. The victims of terrorism should also play an important role in the above-mentioned comprehensive preventive campaign to combat extremist and terrorist ideologies and to counter their narratives.

Achievement of these objectives will require the consolidation of all existing efforts and strengthening cooperation among all stakeholders, including governments, civil society and the private sector.

We look forward to examining further practical recommendations to enhance cooperation between the UN and OIC on combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism.

Ukraine is fully committed to this joint endeavor and is ready to contribute its share, including through the observer status that we hope the OIC will grant to us.

I thank you.