"Harmony" needed to fight violent extremism, says UN chief

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) addresses the opening of the Ministerial Meeting of the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, hosted by the United States Government, in Washington, D.C. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The emergence of a new generation of transnational terrorist groups is a grave threat to international peace and security, the UN Secretary-General warned on Thursday.

Ban Ki-moon addressed a Summit on Countering Violent extremism convened by US President Barack Obama in Washington D.C.

He said addressing the growth of extremism may be the greatest test of the human family in the 21st century.

Stephanie Castro reports.

The Secretary-General said that extremists are pursuing a deliberate strategy of shocking and awful beheadings and burning.

He said these acts are shown in snuff films to provoke and divide the international community.

Ban Ki-moon described extremist leaders as pretenders, criminals, gangsters and thugs on the fringes of the faiths they claim to represent.

He said their victims are as diverse as humankind itself.

"Let us recognize that the vast majority of victims are Muslims, across a broad arc of upheaval and distress. Women and girls are subject to appalling, systematic abuse — rape, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual slavery and other unspeakable horrors. No cause or grievance can justify such crimes." (26")

The Secretary-General said extremist leaders prey on disaffected young people without jobs.

He added that these terrorist leaders exploit social media to boost their ranks and make fear viral.

Mr. Ban said extremists have a strategy for hate and the international community needs a comprehensive strategy for harmony, meaningful integration and peace.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration:  1’13″

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