UN Adopts Updated WAVE Initiative

UN Adopts Updated  WAVE Initiative UN Adopts Updated  WAVE Initiative

The UN General Assembly adopted an updated version of the resolution called the World Against Violence and Extremism submitted by Iran's Ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshrou, originally proposed by President Hassan Rouhani.

According to the UN website, under the WAVE resolution, "the assembly condemned the targeting of civilian populations by violent extremists, deplored attacks on religious places and shrines and cultural sites, and urged all member states to unite against violent extremism in all its forms. States, regional organizations, religious bodies and the media had an important role to play in promoting tolerance and respect for religious and cultural diversity."

"The assembly also emphasized the importance of education as the most effective means to promote tolerance and prevent the spread of extremism."

The original version of the resolution was overwhelmingly passed by the UN General Assembly in December 2013. Khoshrou introduced the updated resolution in an address to a Thursday meeting of the assembly. The envoy lamented the escalation of violence across the world in the past couple of years despite the resolution, calling for a more effective role of participants in this relation.

"Violent extremism and its side effects, including sectarian violence, have been on the rise since the WAVE resolution was first adopted in 2013. In the wake of the atrocities committed by the extremist groups in Syria and Iraq in the past two years and their recent cruelties in such places as Paris, Beirut, Egypt, Ankara and recently in the US and elsewhere, it is more significant and relevant that the General Assembly pronounces itself once more on this challenge," he said.

  Effective Antidotes

Khoshrou stressed the need for the international community to increase cooperation and help promote dialogue, moderation, tolerance and human rights as "the most effective antidotes to violent extremism, which tries to twist religions and pervert human minds toward deaths and destructions."

He warned against attempts to tag specific religions or nationalities as promoters of violence and extremism, saying these will only help reinforce extremist ideologies.   

"In this respect, it is important to avoid associating violent extremism with any nationality and religion. In fact, those who blame religions and engage in hate speech against the followers of divine religions and fan the flames of discriminatory exclusion play right into the terrorists' hands and help them recruit more members and spread much heinous extremist ideologies," he said.

"The draft resolution means to serve as a call to break the endless repetition of the past, uphold the concept of citizenship over sectarian allegiances, place the next generation's prosperity above the settling of past scores and look to the future with hope and prudent moderation as the master key."

The updated version of the resolution incorporated a few additional elements to the initial version, Khoshrou said, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the website of Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations.

"It recalls and reaffirms measures taken at the national and multilateral levels … It recognizes also local, national, regional and multilateral initiatives aimed at addressing the grievances that drive violent extremism and recognizes the effort made by UNESCO … and notes increasing awareness about the need for a comprehensive approach to prevent and counter violent extremism and to address the conditions conducive to its spread," he said.