Davos-Klosters, Switzerland–(ENEWSPF)–23 January 2015 – The civilized world will not bow to the threat of terrorism, said John F. Kerry, US Secretary of State. “The 20th century was defined by the civilized struggle to uphold values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law,” he said. We will not be derailed by criminal anarchists who illegitimately claim a religious cause, he added. Kerry was speaking at the 45th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
The first step is to defeat Daesh, Kerry said, referring to the rebel group also known as ISIS. They are better armed, better trained and have claimed more ground than any other terrorist group in history, he added. “Daesh represents a threat to individual nation states as well as the entire region.”
Much has been achieved by the coalition of 60 partners formed to defeat Daesh, Kerry said, but the speed of progress is not yet fast enough. To succeed, Iraq also needs to enhance outreach efforts to its Sunni population, he asserted. Referring to Daesh-controlled areas that are languishing, as well as specific atrocities, he said the world needs to see the terrorist group as it is, rather than as it claims to be.
To effectively combat violent extremism over the long term, we need to better understand the underlying conditions, he argued. “We can’t change minds without knowing what’s in them.” This understanding, he emphasized, is not the same as acceptance. There are no grounds of religion, ideology or politics that will ever justify the terrorist atrocities we see around the world, Kerry said.
“Eliminating terrorists we confront today only solves part of the problem.” We need to transform the very environment from which terrorism and fundamentalism arises, he asserted. We need to take the long-term view, identify vulnerabilities early, and do more to counteract and prevent radicalization.
Kerry concluded his address on an optimistic note – citing historic international cooperation in the battle against Ebola, new trade pacts, progress towards an international climate-change agreement, as well as steps towards a peaceful resolution of the Iran nuclear negotiations.
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