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Countering violent extremism

The Commonwealth supports international efforts to counter violent extremism in all its forms.

Commonwealth Heads of Government have affirmed that violent extremism represents a serious threat to international peace and security, shared values and aspirations, social harmony and economic and social development.

In line with the mandate given by leaders at their Malta summit, a dedicated unit was established within the Commonwealth Secretariat in 2017 to support national strategies to counter violent extremism (CVE).

Our approach recognises that, as violent extremists are adept at exploiting their own cross-border networks to recruit and to use violence, those dedicated to preventing this phenomenon must be just as adept.

The Commonwealth advantage in countering extremism

The Commonwealth Secretariat is uniquely placed to assist member countries in sharing good practice and harnessing the role of governments and individuals to enhance the resilience of society to violent extremist messages.

Our programme work leverages decades of experience in supporting governments – for example in strengthening the rule of law, human rights and youth empowerment – while drawing on the shared values, cultural and regional diversity of the Commonwealth.

By using non-coercive approaches to address the drivers of violent extremism, the Commonwealth Secretariat seeks to reduce the vulnerabilities of at-risk communities.

This involves responding to mutually identified gaps in the capacity of member governments, mapping existing support mechanisms and resources, exchanging experiences and practices, and harnessing the ‘network of networks’ that is the Commonwealth.

Knowledge sharing key to conflict prevention in Commonwealth countries

Commonwealth member states from Africa and the Caribbean are meeting in Ghana to share experiences and good practices in building, strengthening and sustaining national dialogues to prevent violence and unrest. MORE

Cameroon workshop advances women’s role in peacebuilding

The Commonwealth has held a training session for more than 30 Cameroonians designed to highlight the role women can play in building peace, understanding conflict and countering violent extremism. MORE

Report launched in Cameroon on integrating returnees of conflict

The Commonwealth has hosted an event unveiling a report on how the Cameroon government and civil society can support women returning from situations of extremism. MORE

Trinidad and Tobago workshop focuses on preventing violent extremism in prisons

The Commonwealth has delivered a four-day workshop in Trinidad and Tobago designed to counter violent extremism in prisons.The workshop took place from 21-24 May in Port of Spain, the country’s capital. MORE

Equipping young Asians to work against extremism

Young people from Commonwealth countries in Asia have been learning how they can take action to prevent and counter violent extremism and build peace in their communities. MORE

Global recognition for Commonwealth’s countering violent extremism efforts

The Commonwealth has pledged to work with member countries to identify best practices and tools to counter violent extremism. MORE

 Countering violent extremism toolkits