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Department of Justice
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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Excerpts of Attorney General Lynch at the Launch of the Strong Cities Network to Combat Violent Extremism

In her first address at the United Nations General Assembly, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch will join other leaders from around the world to launch the Strong Cities Network to combat violent extremism.

Copied below are excerpts from her prepared remarks about how these collaborative efforts will improve social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism:

“Some [violent extremists] aspire to travel overseas to train or to fight.  Others plot attacks on targets within their homelands.  But all are antithetical to the shared vision and common cause that joins us here today in this renowned international forum: commitment to collaboration; dedication to peace; and devotion to the cause of justice within our nations and throughout the world.”


“It is clear that the challenge of building resilience against violent extremism – a challenge that spans vast oceans and borders while impacting our most tightly-knit cities and towns – requires a response that is both wide-ranging and highly focused.”


“As residents and experts in their communities, local leaders are often best positioned to pinpoint sources of unrest and discord; best equipped to identify signs of potential danger; and best able to recognize and accommodate community cultures, traditions, sensitivities, and customs.  By creating a series of partnerships that draws on the knowledge and expertise of our local officials, we can create a more effective response to this virulent threat.”         


“Through the Strong Cities Network that we have unveiled today, we are making the first systematic effort in history to bring together cities around the world to share experiences, to pool resources, and to forge partnerships in order to build local cohesion and resilience on a global scale.  Today we tell every city, every town, and every community that has lost the flower of its youth to a sea of hatred – you are not alone.  We stand together, and we stand with you.”


“Our experience tells us that partnering with city-level officials and the communities they represent extends the reach and deepens the perspective of national governments and international alliances.  And connecting those localities to one another – as the Strong Cities Network is doing – is not only a powerful way to lift up our communities worldwide.  It also sends a message about who we are and what we aspire to be – as an alliance of nations and as a global community.  When the representatives of the Strong Cities Network join together for their first Annual Summit in Paris in Spring 2016, they will be making a strong and clear statement to their citizens and to the world: we stand united against violence, united against fear, and united in the pursuit of a better and brighter future.”


"By connecting municipal leaders, facilitating information-sharing and providing training and other assistance where appropriate, the Strong Cities Network will help to fashion a global response to a global issue, without losing sight of its inherently local roots.  It will offer city leaders a way to learn from one another about successful initiatives and productive programs.  It will provide a platform for discussing community policing and prevention strategies that safeguard the individual rights of citizens.  And it will support the practical delivery of community resilience programs in cities that are taking a new look at this evolving issue."

Updated September 29, 2015