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International co-operation and preventive measures to counter terrorism and radicalisation

“International and interparliamentary cooperation is more necessary than ever to counter international terrorism, violent extremism and radicalisation,” PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier said in her address to a conference on the fight against international terrorism in Saint Petersburg. Referring to legal cooperation, the President recalled that the Council of Europe had developed many legal tools in this field, including the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol.

“To effectively combat this scourge, in addition to legal and security measures, we need new actions in the form of a positive alternative discourse against extremism,” added the President, who presented a set of prevention measures to better structure counter-narratives against terrorism.

Among these measures, PACE proposes firstly to elaborate national strategies for the prevention of radicalisation. Politicians should develop positive, flexible alternative discourses adapted to terrorist propaganda. Ms. Maury Pasquier also underlined the importance of working primarily with communities as well as with civil society, religious and community leaders, while using different types of media.

“We must strongly condemn any use of hate speech and all those who spread hatred and violence. As politicians, we have a responsibility to set an example,” the President said. Finally, “steps must be taken to promote inclusive education and ensure that schools play their full role in the development of active, critically thinking citizens, ready to live in a plural society,” Ms Maury Pasquier concluded.

This conference was organised by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States and several other Parliamentary Assemblies, including PACE.