21 February 2023
The Initiative Leads, the United States and Norway, launched the event for the Awareness Raising and Operationalizing GCTF “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism” (REMVE) Toolkit Initiative. The objective of this Initiative is to create a better understanding of the Toolkit and the recommendations, to support the world-wide training programs lead by the GCTF Members and other international partners. The event was the first in a series of events to promote dialogue on this topic, to help share best practices and on the previous workshops that culminated in the development of the Toolkit. The Toolkit was presented at the Twentieth GCTF Coordinating Committee Meeting in New York City, United States, in September 2022.
“Prevention and a whole-of-society approach is critical to success. Civil society, local communities, and governments all play important roles in preventing violent extremism and terrorism. In the long term, we need to address the conditions conducive to violent extremism and establish effective preventive measures. These measures must be implemented with the support and knowledge of local communities, including civil society. We must continue preventive work while constantly acquiring new knowledge and assess the need for adjustments and new measures. The Toolkit is an excellent basis for such a flexible and evolving approach to the REMVE challenge”, said Tor Kinsarvik, Deputy Director of the Section for Global Security and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, on behalf of the Initiative Lead, Norway during his opening speech.
In his closing remarks, Richard Prosen, Deputy Director, Office of Multilateral Affairs, Bureau of Counterterrorism, Department of State, United States on behalf of the Initiative Lead, the United States shared, “The scale and complexity of REMVE threats illustrate how the terrorist landscape has evolved to become more diverse, challenging, and global. Today’s fruitful discussions on community, national, and multilateral approaches to preventing and countering REMVE provide a foundation for future cooperation. Our aim is to amplify the Toolkit’s lessons and recommendations and apply them to real-world case studies and contexts”.
The recommendations highlighted in the Toolkit are based on existing GCTF Framework Documents that assist counterterrorism policy makers and practitioners with developing strategies to counter, disrupt, and deter REMVE conducive to terrorism.
Regarding terminology, GCTF Members and experts use a number of different expressions to describe REMVE and interrelated threats. These include “racially or ethnically motivated terrorism,” “ideologically motivated violent extremism,” “right-wing terrorism,” “far-right terrorism,” “extreme-right terrorism,” “violent right-wing extremism,” and “white supremacist terrorism,” “terrorism on the basis of xenophobia,” and “terrorism in the name of religion or belief,” among others. At the international level, “violent incidents often underpinned by racial, ethnic, political, and ideological motivations” have been expressly outlined as aspects of “terrorist attacks on the basis of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance, or in the name of religion or belief”(XRIRB). Despite differences in terminology, each of these expressions describes attacks perpetrated by individuals or groups in the name of defending against perceived threats to their racial or ethnic identity or ensuring the superiority/supremacy thereof.