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The Australian Government is working with international partners in government and non-government organisations to build collective expertise on countering violent extremism.

While we have taken care to learn from the experience of others overseas, the Australian countering violent extremism program is not modelled on that of any particular country. In fact, we have been innovative in developing programs that other countries are looking at with interest.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade plays an integral role in the Australian Government's Countering Violent Extremism Strategy, including through its responsibility for addressing transnational terrorism. By engaging closely with our international partners, the Australian Government is ensuring that we have a coordinated and consistent approach to combat local and global acts of terrorism.

On 22 September 2011, a Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) was officially launched in New York. The purpose of the GCTF is to provide an informal and multilateral counterterrorism platform for officials and practitioners to engage and share best practice with counterparts. One of the key capability-building areas will be countering violent extremism. To reflect this, one of the five GCTF working groups will be dedicated to this issue (the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates will co‑chair this group). The United Arab Emirates announced its intention to establish the first-ever international centre of excellence on countering violent extremism in 2012.

Australia's broader approach to national security acknowledges the contribution of our International Development Assistance Program, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Although distinct from terrorism-specific initiatives, this program provides possible alternatives and economic opportunity to vulnerable communities. The Development Assistance Program helps prevent instability and insecurity arising from poverty and injustice in particular countries, and can help to mitigate the sources of transnational threats such as terrorism. Sustainable development, particularly within our region is in Australia's long-term strategic interests.