Commonwealth Role in Anti-terrorism

Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, has announced a new policy framework intended to counter violent extremism though Australian aid programs. 

Ms Bishop’s announcement was made shortly before the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack in March and following the provision of $2.5 million to the Commonwealth Secretariat to establish a Counter-Violent Extremism Unit at its London headquarters. 

She said that the new framework will ensure that development assistance considers countering violent extremism in targeted and sensitive ways, including across education, civil society, governance, livelihoods, justice and the rule of law.

In 2016, Australia supported a revision of OECD rules to make non-coercive efforts to counter violent extremism eligible for Official Development Assistance.

Meanwhile, in Canberra, the RCS and the Commonwealth Round Table in Australia have made a joint contribution to the development of a new Australian Foreign Policy White Paper—the first since 2003.