The forum was attended by Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, ambassadors, official delegates and representatives of the European Union and the United Nations.
Sheikh Abdullah said the forum was a clear evidence “of our ongoing commitment to deepen cooperation and joint efforts to counter terrorism.” He said although relatively new, the CVE Working Group managed to make a lot of progress. He thanked the U.S. Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton and the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu for the commitment shown in countering terrorism and for their contributions to the CVE’s success.
“We all concur that it is important to intensify individual and collective efforts to combat terrorism and violent extremism. The terrorists’ tactics may change but their threat is the same and this puts an emphasis on the importance of this forum in collecting information, pooling efforts and sharing expertise.” Sheikh Abdullah described terrorism as a phenomenon that transcends national boundaries and is not limited to a certain nation or religion.
He added that the UAE, which co-chairs the CVE Working Group, is committed to providing assistance and support to the group’s objectives.
“Extremism is the opposite of tolerance which is embraced by the UAE as one of its key values. It is an honour for the UAE to coordinate efforts with the international community to eliminate terrorist and extremist threats in the world. We believe that this forum is instrumental in achieving achieve that goal.” In his speech, Davutoglu said it is a distinct pleasure to co-chair the third Ministerial Plenary of the Global Counter Terrorism Forum.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan for hosting the Third Ministerial Plenary Meeting of the GCTF here in Abu Dhabi.” “Today’s dazzling changes in the international environment compel us to play a pro-active role in countering colossal challenges. Turkey, as a beacon of dynamic stability in a volatile region, has a sense of responsibility that drives her foreign policy. We spare no efforts to consolidate security and stability in our region and beyond. Our efforts in countering terrorism are part and parcel of our strategy in this regard. As a country that has and unfortunately continues to be victimized by terrorism, our longstanding struggle against this menace puts us at the forefront of the global counterterrorism efforts. It is with this understanding that we take active part in GCTF as co-chair,” he added.
He said the inauguration of the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism today was an important step in that regard.
“We thank the Government of UAE and in particular His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed al Nahyan for hosting the Hedayah Center, which is the first ever international center that shall dwell on violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations.” For his part, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns conveyed greetings of the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the participants.
“We meet at a pivotal moment in our fight against violent extremism. In a number of places, we have made substantial progress,” he said.
But serious threats remain. In the Sahel and the Horn of Africa, groups are using terror to advance their agendas, he added.
“Our goal now is to take greater aim at these and other threats; to stay ahead of them as they evolve and to put into place long-term solutions that will yield lasting results. Because we all understand that long-term solutions are essential. We all know that repressive approaches often fuel the very radicalization they seek to fight. And we all realize that we must disrupt the radicalization process by fostering opportunity, promoting tolerance, and amplifying the voices of men and women who have been victims of terrorism. We need to build governments’ capacities to take on threats within their societies through approaches grounded in the rule of law and respect for human rights — by reforming law enforcement and criminal justice systems, engaging with local communities, and empowering civil society.” He described the forum as “ideally suited to play a central role in our collective effort, alongside our bilateral partnerships and existing cooperation whether in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, or Southeast Asia. In fact, it already is playing a central role.” WAM/MAB WAM 1711 2012/12/14 END WAM/MAB