Speaking at the Global Counterterrorism Forum, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Nairobi, Kenya, and Peshawar, Pakistan. In Nairobi, at least 68 innocent men, women, and children are dead, and many more injured. In Peshawar, there was a heinous attack on the All Saints Church, killing at least 85 people and injuring 100.
"The United States," said Secretary Kerry, "stands firmly with the people of Kenya and Pakistan."
Clearly, the world must remain vigilant against terrorism, but it must do more, said Mr. Kerry. "We have to find a way to prevent, to preempt, to act ahead of these kinds of obscenities." These acts call on us to reaffirm our determination to counter violent extremism and promote tolerance everywhere.
From Kenya to Pakistan, from Mali to Yemen, the threat is more diffuse, decentralized, and geographically dispersed than ever before, and addressing this threat will require every tool available: political, economic, diplomatic, military, and perhaps most importantly, the power of our ideas. In short, it will require a long-term, strategic and comprehensive approach, guided by respect for human rights and the rule of law.
"Getting this right," said Secretary Kerry, "isn’t just about taking terrorists off the street. It’s about providing more economic opportunities for marginalized youth at risk of recruitment."
The Global Counterterrorism Forum was launched two years ago and has become the go-to international venue for civilian-led counterterrorism cooperation. The Forum has developed practical guides on how to rehabilitate and reintegrate convicted terrorists and has developed the first-ever set of international good practices for cracking down on kidnapping for ransom as a terrorist fundraising tactic.
Forum members have mobilized more than $200 million to support training and other capacity-building initiatives in countering violent extremism and in strengthening the rule of law. Secretary Kerry announced that the United States plans to commit an additional $30 million to address these priorities.
"We face a common threat in terrorism," said Secretary Kerry, ". . .and our charge is clear: We need to prove to the world that what we build together, and the power of our ideas, is far more powerful than what the terrorists seek to destroy."