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G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism

Taormina, Italy, May 26, 2017
[pdf]

  1. We, the Leaders of the G7, stand united in expressing our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims of the brutal terrorist act in Manchester in the United Kingdom. We condemn in the strongest possible terms terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
  2. Countering terrorism and violent extremism, acts of which have struck G7 Members, as well as all regions of the world, regardless of country, nationality or belief, remains a major priority for the G7. We stand united in our joint endeavour to make sure that our citizens are safe and secure, and their values and way of life fully preserved, and will take the strongest action possible to find, identify, remove, and punish, as appropriate, terrorists and those who abet their activities.
  3. We will bring the fight against terrorism to a higher level by relentlessly preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts, their perpetrators and supporters. Our shared system of values and norms, respect for human rights and cultural diversity, the promotion of fundamental freedoms and the principles on which our societies are built will remain a beacon for our common action and the first and best defence against this common threat. To this end, we remain committed to the full implementation of the G7 Action Plan adopted in Ise-Shima.
  4. But the brutal attack in Manchester demonstrates that we must now redouble our efforts to turn these commitments into action. We agree to task our Interior Ministers to meet, as soon as possible, to focus on implementation of the following commitments and to work collectively with the private sector and civil society to defeat terrorism.
  5. First, we will combat the misuse of the Internet by terrorists. While being one of the most important technological achievements in the last decades, the Internet has also proven to be a powerful tool for terrorist purposes. The G7 calls for Communication Service Providers and social media companies to substantially increase their efforts to address terrorist content. We encourage industry to act urgently in developing and sharing new technology and tools to improve the automatic detection of content promoting incitement to violence, and we commit to supporting industry efforts in this vein including the proposed industry-led forum for combatting online extremism. We will support the promotion of alternative and positive narratives rooted in our common values and with due respect to the principle of freedom of expression. We will counter propaganda supporting terrorism and violent extremism, online recruitment by extremists, radicalization and incitement to violence. To this end, we will increase our engagement with civil society, youth and religious leaders, detention facilities, and educational institutions.
  6. Second, we will pursue a collective approach to managing the risk posed by foreign fighters as they disperse from theatres of conflict. We will pool resources to build capacity in transit and destination countries to manage the threat of travelling and returning foreign fighters, focusing in particular on upstream development where greatest effect can be achieved. We will offer our expertise and resources to develop legal pathways in order to return foreign fighters to their country of origin. We will commit to greater knowledge-sharing of known individuals who have travelled to Daesh/al-Qaeda territory. We will cooperate on the upstream collection of battlefield evidence to enable prosecution of returning foreign fighters. We will put measures in place for those, such as vulnerable women and children, who cannot be prosecuted, ensuring compliance with international human rights standards.
  7. Third, we will refocus our efforts and take action to cut off sources and channels of terrorist financing and the financing of violent extremism. Because funds are the lifeblood of violent extremists and terrorists, countering the financing of violent extremists who radicalize youth around the globe and threaten our national interests. We will, therefore, maintain our support for the work carried out by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and recognize the importance of improved information sharing between G7 financial intelligence units as well as better cooperation between other competent authorities and with the private sector. We will employ targeted financial sanctions to disrupt their support networks, and we will strengthen G7 cooperation on these sanctions. We unequivocally reiterate our resolve not to pay ransoms to terrorists.
  8. Beyond this, we remain committed to strengthening cooperation among our border agencies—and those of our partners—and to supporting the expansion of the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) and Advance Passenger Information (API) in traveler screening. We reiterate the importance of filling gaps in API use at international level, and note the critical importance of API as an effective instrument in the fight against terrorism - and in stemming the flow of foreign fighters and in monitoring their return.
  9. We will also continue to play a key role in countering terrorist facilitation; the diversion of weapons into the hands of terrorists, preventing and countering radicalization to violence; facilitating information sharing; dismantling connections between terrorism and transnational organized crime; and promoting better implementation of effective, proportionate and risk-based aviation security measures. We will strongly encourage and support third countries to improve their protective security. We will reinforce cooperation among ourselves and intensify partnership with third countries, as an essential element of the global action to counter terrorism, in order to implement all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and international instruments, including the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). We will continue to support the UN Secretary General's Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism and the UN's Global Counterterrorism Strategy.
  10. We are also committed to supporting INTERPOL in its information-sharing functions. We will further enhance connectivity of priority partner countries to its Database System and continue to assess how we can jointly accelerate this endeavor.
  11. We are convinced of the distinctive role of culture as an instrument to fight terrorism. Cultivating culture is a way to foster tolerance and dialogue among peoples, mutual understanding, religious pluralism, and recognition and respect for diversity. Culture contributes to the preservation of identity and the memory of mankind, encourages dialogue and exchanges among nations, and, ultimately, can be an extraordinary instrument to prevent radicalization and violent extremism, especially among youth.
  12. We also affirm our strong determination to cooperate in protecting cultural heritage and countering the looting and trafficking of cultural property. Such property is a source of financing for activities of terrorist groups and organizations, but also as a heinous means to eradicate cultural diversity from the territories under their control.
  13. We commit ourselves to steering international and regional organizations and entities towards implementing effective, efficient, and focused capacity-building and technical assistance programs in areas such as countering violent extremism, combating the financing of terrorism, enhancing border and aviation security, and strengthening cyber-related capacities.
  14. Since the lack of social and economic inclusiveness and opportunities may contribute to the rise of terrorism and violent extremism, we commit to address these issues through a comprehensive approach linking together security, social inclusion, and development. G7 efforts to promote pluralism, tolerance, and gender equality such as cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue will boost the effectiveness of our action against terrorism and violent extremism.
  15. Our action against terrorism and violent extremism is rooted in a common system of values, which will continue to provide a solid foundation for our concerted and coordinated action. We emphasize that all counterterrorism efforts must be based on the common principles of democracy, respect of human rights, and the rule of law. As we tackle the major challenges of disrupting terrorist financing and the financing of violent extremism, managing the return of foreign terrorist fighters from conflict areas and addressing the associated risks for regional stability, countering the widespread use of the Internet for terrorist purposes, and addressing the root causes of radicalization to violence, we will continue to rely on the heritage established by the G7 within the wider international community.

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Source: Official website of the G7 Taormina Summit


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