With participants drawn from the highest levels of the United Nations, academia, and beyond, the event allowed states to learn about the successes and failures of programs geared toward moving individuals and groups away from “terrorist” activity, and saw high-level officials outline the various roles the UN plays, and could in future play, in counterterrorism. Participants included individuals from state deradicalisation programs and NGOs, as well as the UN’s Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate, Al Qaeda/Taliban Sanctions Monitoring Team, and Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. Held at IPI’s New York office, the event saw robust participation in panels on issues including the key considerations in developing programs, and the ways in which civil society is already working to counter radicalisation.
Many participants pointed to the need for a comprehensive approach to counterterrorism, with one country representative saying that “deradicalisation programs are an excellent counterterrorism mechanism, but there is a need for a comprehensive approach to countering violent extremism.” Responding to questions about recidivism and success rates in deradicalisation, another interlocutor added, “a person’s radical ideology may never be fully removed, but we can take measures to reduce it; that’s why we must monitor program beneficiaries following their release and provide sound aftercare.”
The one-day meeting was held under the Chatham House Rule, and was a follow-up event to “Countering Violent Extremism: Learning from Deradicalisation Programs in Some Muslim-Majority States” – a conference the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-hosted with IPI in Amman, Jordan, earlier this year.