Canadian de-radicalization centre "compassionate and effective": UN chief

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) meets with Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montréal, Canada, this week. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

A Canadian centre which works with families to prevent terrorism, has been praised by the UN Secretary-General for its "compassionate and effective" approach.

Ban Ki-moon visited The Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, on a visit to Canada, just a few weeks after presenting a new Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to UN member states last month.

Matthew Wells reports.

Mr Ban has made the prevention of violent extremism a "new priority" for the UN this year, saying there needs to be an "All-of-Society approach."

The Canadian centre, based in the city of Montreal, opened in March last year, and the UN chief praised its focus on helping individuals and their families to veer away from violent action before as he put it, the "problems escalate".

He said it was vital to find out what motivates those who are suspected of being on the road towards committing terrorist acts, adding that to understand "these phenomena is not the same as justifying them."

Adopting a bottom-up approach at the local level, as the centre was doing, led to direct engagement with the communities where extremism could be festering, and this could, Mr Ban added, "help promote human rights and heal broken societies."

According to news reports, Canada's prevention of radicalization centre, has received more than 600 calls on its hotline, of which 114 have led to an intervention, with nine cases referred to police.

In his remarks at the centre on Saturday, Mr Ban concluded by saying that local efforts would help "forge a global response" in a "principled, participatory and comprehensive manner."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'06"

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