Global Freedom of Expression

1 October

Ministerial Side-Event: “A comprehensive approach to preventing radicalization, violent extremism and atrocity crimes: activating voices from actors in the field”

  • 1:15pm-2:30pm EST
  • ECOSOC Chamber, United Nations
    New York USA

The nexus between radicalization, violent extremism and the commission of atrocity crimes has become the focus of many current policy discussions. A recurrent question has been how to identify those individuals who are most vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment by violent extremist groups and how to intervene at an early stage and in the most effective way to prevent recruitment and rehabilitate those involved.

States have an important responsibility in protecting populations from atrocity crimes, including those committed by violent extremist groups, and can do so inter alia by addressing those factors that contribute to radicalization, such as the grievances of communities that might feel marginalized. To build integrated and open societies, States should also promote equal access to resources, invest in education, training and employment and promote diversity and respect for human rights without discrimination.

However, to be effective, any strategy must involve all sectors of society, not just the State. It is also important to develop innovative, comprehensive and truly preventive approaches. Governments should take recourse to the broadest array of interlocutors, actors and tools in order to protect those who risk falling prey to incitement to hatred, hostility and violent radicalization. Civil society and local communities must be involved. They have an important role to play in complementing State efforts. The important, specific role that women play in preventing and stopping violent radicalization and extremism must also be highlighted.

This event aims to bring together individuals with expertise in preventing radicalization, incitement to violence and violent extremism and to discuss creative and innovative approaches to addressing these challenges. The following questions will guide the discussion:

  • What are the key methods and approaches to prevent youth from joining groups that promote violent extremism?
  • What are the factors that may explain the success or failure of interventions?
  • Which actors can play a decisive role in detecting, deterring and countering violent radicalization?
  • How can women in particular prevent or halt a violent radicalization process?
  • What are the recommendations from different actors, both and non-governmental in terms of timely interventions?

The event is organized by Belgium, Morocco, and the Office of the UN Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to protect, with the support of the Global Freedom of Expression Initiative of the University of Columbia. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs of Belgium, H.E. Didier Reynders, and the Foreign Minister of Morocco, H.E. Salaheddine Mezouar, will co-chair the meeting.


Before Monday 09.28.2015, 2.00 pm, all guests must register (included delegations from Member States), by mail only:

On Wednesday 09.30.2015, all guests must retrieve event tickets between 10.00 am to 12.00 pm at the lobby of the One Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 885 Second Avenue (attention: entrance from 47th Street – inside the lobby, a table will be set up with a Belgian flag). The event tickets will be handed to the guests themselves upon presentation of their ID. Third persons can also retrieve tickets upon presentation of their ID and a letter from their organization, mandating them to retrieve these event tickets.

For further information, please contact Antoine Misonne, Legal Adviser at the Belgian Mission to the UN: +1 212 378 63 54,

For additional information on the invitation, speakers and program, please download the “Invitation” file below:

Invitation – Preventing radicalization violent extremism and atrocity crimes – 10 01 2015