White House Countering Violent Extremism Summit

18 February 2015

I will travel to Washington from 18–21 February 2015 to represent the Australian Government at the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism. This Summit follows the Five Country Ministerial which I co-hosted in London earlier this month.

The Martin Place siege, the arrest just last week of two men in Sydney for terrorism-related offences and a spate of recent terrorist attacks in Denmark, Canada, France, Nigeria and Pakistan are proof of just how important it is to combat terrorism and counter violent extremism in our communities.

The threat posed by ISIL and other terrorist groups is growing and of global concern. The hateful propaganda and violence of terrorist groups like ISIL is borderless.

Over 75 countries will be represented at the summit, bringing together the largest gathering of Ministers, and senior officials, outside the UNGA, to discuss defeating the growing terrorist threat.

Australia will share our experiences and the initiatives we are taking through comprehensive legislative reform, plus approximately $630 million over four years in new counter-terrorism funding, which includes a targeted countering violent extremism programme. The Australian Government has also committed $545 million over four years for initiatives that encourage social harmony and integration in our multicultural communities.

The Government plays a vital role in countering radicalisation but cannot do it alone. To be effective governments need to work with both the private sector and community groups. The work cannot succeed without the active involvement of leaders of the Muslim community.

The ISIL death cult delivers up to 100,000 messages a day online. We must identify and facilitate ways to counter this propaganda.

This event will focus on developing an ambitious global plan for addressing violent extremism. It will explore how countries can more effectively meet the threat to global security by countering the appeal of extremist messages and exposing the lies used to prey on vulnerable youth.

I look forward to continuing this important work with the United States as it leads the Summit and to ongoing and enhanced collaboration with other international partners on these critical issues.