U.N. Addresses ‘Violent Extremism’ as Cause of Terrorism

GENEVA (AP) -
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addresses the media after a conference meant to further efforts to resettle Syrian refugees at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, March 30, 2016. Ban Ki-moon was urging governments around the globe to let in more people from Syria and “counter fearmongering” about refugees. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone via AP)

Government envoys, civil society advocates, social media gurus and U.N. officials have started a two-day conference billed as the first of its kind to tackle violent extremism, part of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s efforts to address the root causes of terrorism.

Jehangir Khan, director of a U.N. counterterrorism task force, said violent extremism is threatening all major U.N. missions and noted that Ban has made the issue a priority in his last year in office.

Following terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Istanbul, Beirut and beyond in recent months, Khan said Thursday, “Today the specter of violent extremism stalks the world again.”

Ban is expected to speak to reporters as the conference, co-sponsored by Switzerland, ends on Friday. The results aim to complement a U.N. review of its counterterrorism strategy this June.