Strasbourg, 29 January 2013 - Speaking at a high-level conference in Brussels this afternoon, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland urged international bodies to work together with stakeholders at the national level to help tackle violent extremism.
“Local authorities and communities are the front line in our fight against violent extremism. But they cannot bear the burden on their own.
Only a co-ordinated international response given together with all relevant national actors will deliver the results we need.
The Council of Europe is the only organisation where young people and government representatives make decisions side by side on policies and programmes. We encourage other organisations to follow our lead. Democracy is only democracy if it is representative of all citizens, not just a privileged few.
“The first step is to reach out to pupils and students across Europe by teaching human rights and citizenship education in the classroom, to invest time and resources in preventing human rights violations before they happen,” he said.