On the margins of the opening of the United Nations General Debate and the Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial meeting, the Governments of Denmark and Mali convened a high-level meeting on countering violent extremism (CVE), co-hosted by H.E. Martin Lidegaard, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and H.E. Abdoulaye Diop, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and International Cooperation of Mali. High-level speakers included H.E. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada; Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Kenya; H.E. Gebran Bassil, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Lebanon; Stefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, European Union; and Tina Kaidanow, Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Department of State, United States of America. The discussion was moderated by Alistair Millar, Executive Director of the Global Center and participants included high-level representatives from Australia, Jordan, Nigeria, Norway, The Netherlands, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as representatives from UN entities, such as the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF), Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and the Department for Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Speakers highlighted the critical challenges posed by violent extremism and terrorism today on their development and security, including the role of foreign terrorist fighters and identified opportunities to intensify national, regional, and international efforts to combat the threat. A number of representatives also shared experiences and lessons learned from their CVE programs and initiatives. Speakers noted that while terrorism and violent extremism are not new challenges, there has been a qualitative change in that it is increasingly transnational, with complex security dynamics where the lines between insurgent and armed groups, extremists, and terrorists are blurred, and the movement of foreign fighters have added new security concerns in their destination and transit countries, as well as at home. Additional statements from the floor were made by high level participants from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Norway, highlighting the importance of collective international action to prevent violent extremism and terrorism and underscoring the support of these states for a multidimensional CVE approach.