February 18 to 19 2015, the Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Martin Lidegaard, attended the White House Summit in Washington D.C to Counter Violent Extremism. Afterwards, Martin Lidegaard met with the U.S Secretary of State, John Kerry, who was hosting the event.
The aim of the summit was to review global progress since President Obama’s call to action at the 2014 UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. Obama called for all countries to do more to address violent extremism within their borders and regions.
Prior to the summit, Martin Lidegaard made the following statement after the attacks in Copenhagen:
“This weekend has once again shown the necessity of working together internationally and the importance of learning from one another in the fight against radicalization. Not only must we improve our ability to prevent young people from committing violent extremism. This must be combated with openness, unity and democracy, which in the long run is the most powerful and effective response. For this reason, I am glad that the summit in Washington D.C. will focus on how to prevent radicalization and terror through preventive actions. This is an area in which Denmark has a lot of experience on both national and local level. There is room for improvement, however this requires more collaboration.”
At the summit, the Foreign Minister spoke during the morning session on “Understanding violent Extremism today”, where he especially emphasized the need to react to extremism, but not overreact.
After the summit, Martin Lidegaard met with his counterpart, the U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. They discussed avenues for continued and strengthened cooperation on countering violent extremism. They agreed on the need for a holistic approach as outlined by the Secretary and President Obama at the CVE Summit in Washington last week. They also discussed crucial transatlantic cooperation regarding other areas of shared interest such as the situation in Ukraine.