NEW YORK – President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan joined the summit hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama on Sept. 29 to discuss with other world leaders the ongoing fight against the terror group ISIS and the global spread of violent extremism.
“There are going to be successes and there are going to be setbacks,” Obama said, beginning his remarks to the leaders of the more than 100 nations present. “This is not a conventional battle. This is a long-term campaign.”
Obama placed a great emphasis on current tensions in the Middle East, saying, “In Iraq and in Syria, ISIL is surrounded by communities, countries and a broad international coalition committed to its destruction. We have seen that ISIL can be defeated on the battlefield, where there is sound organisation and a government and military that is coordinating with this coalition and with our diplomatic efforts. And here at this summit, we’re seeing a new global movement to counter the violent extremism that ISIL needs to survive.”
“Our most recent data shows a 70 percent increase in foreign terrorist fighters from over 100 countries to regions in conflict. Addressing this challenge goes to the heart of the mission of the United Nations and it requires a unified response,” highlighted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, taking the floor after the U.S. president.
In his speech, he said he intended to present a comprehensive plan of action to prevent violent extremism early next year to the General Assembly and asked all member states to share their visions of how they can work together to combat extremism.
The President of Kazakhstan in his remarks said that violent extremism has become one of the most serious threats to peace and security, promoting the growth of international terrorism. Nazarbayev proposed several directions for member states to concentrate joint efforts.
“We need to establish a United Nations-led counter terrorism coalition and develop a common mechanism for locating and bringing to justice the perpetrators of extremism and terrorism. Secondly, we need to establish a United Nations-led counter terrorism coalition and develop a common mechanism for locating and bringing to justice the perpetrators of extremism and terrorism. Third, we must establish a universal set of regulations and rules related to the fight against terrorists and extremists, which would be applicable to all states,” he said.
Nazarbayev stressed the importance of developing a single mechanism for the prosecution and extradition of persons involved in crimes of international terrorism and extremism. “It should be clear that severe sanctions would be applicable to those who support them,” he said.
He also noted the need to address the root causes of violent extremism and not just deal with its consequences. He emphasised that states must reject the illegal use of military force in other countries, which leads to the destruction of statehood.
Nazarbayev also recalled that Astana hosted the Regional Conference for Central and South Asian countries on countering violent extremism in June this year.
In February 2015, the White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit brought together local, federal and international leaders – including Obama and the foreign ministers and top prosecutors of other states – to discuss concrete steps the United States and its partners can take to develop community-oriented approaches to counter hateful extremist ideologies that radicalise, recruit or incite to violence.
“We have a major challenge before us, one that will not disappear overnight, but one that we can address concretely by forging societies of inclusion, ensuring lives of dignity and pursuing this essential endeavour inspired at all times by the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” concluded the UN secretary-general at the summit on Sept. 29.
Since violent extremism is an ongoing challenge, the summit was meant to serve as merely part of a conversation. The results of this conversation are expected to be background papers, policy proposals and multimedia features on issues surrounding radicalisation.