GCERF Pledging Conference: Supporting the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund - an important measure to prevent violent extremism

New York, 20.09.2022 - Address by Ignazio Cassis, President of the Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) at the opening of the Global Fund Donor Conference - Check against delivery

Sir Tony Blair
Dear President and colleague Mohamed Bazoum
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of Switzerland, I am pleased to welcome you to this pledging conference for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, GCERF.

Violent extremism is one of the great challenges to peace and stability on our planet. It is a challenge that encompasses a vast range of issues such as peace, security, sustainable development, the rule of law and human rights. Preventing violent extremism has been a major priority of the international community for many years. A UN action plan has been in place since 2015. Since then, many states – including Switzerland – have adopted their own national and international action plans for the prevention of violent extremism.

As a member of the UN Security Council from 2023, Switzerland will also prioritise peacebuilding and conflict prevention. Preventing violent extremism is central to this. Switzerland is actively engaged in efforts to prevent violent extremism with many partners in Africa.  Our work promotes a 'soft' approach, which seeks dialogue and solutions to address the root causes of violence.

The Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund was established in 2014 in Geneva. The organisation currently funds grassroots initiatives in 15 partner states to strengthen resistance to violent extremism. The Sahel plays an important role in countering violent extremism.

Niger's engagement on this issue is therefore especially welcome, and I congratulate President Mohamed Bazoum on his call for dialogue to prevent violence in Niger. It is through dialogue with all actors, including armed actors, that we can address the multiple causes of violence, whether they be political, social or economic.

I would also like to thank President Bazoum for taking the initiative to organise today's event, which aims to strengthen the financial stability of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund and ensure that it can finance the priorities and activities set out in its 2025 strategy. Switzerland has contributed non-earmarked multi-year support to the fund since its launch and will continue to do so.

I very much hope that many states will pledge or expand their financial support to the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund.
I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank the former British Prime Minister, Sir Tony Blair, for agreeing to chair this conference.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your commitment.

Address for enquiries

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs