Theresa May vows to “defeat extremism” during UN speech to virtually empty room

Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to “defeat extremist ideology” during a speech to the United Nations yesterday.

In a sign of waning British power on the world stage, May was speaking to a virtually empty room as she urged tech companies to crack down on extremist content online.

Britain has suffered five terror attacks in 2017 with the loss of 36 lives. ISIS has claimed responsibility for four out of the five attacks in revenge for the UK’s military interventions in the Muslim world.

Mrs May told the UN: “We must continue to take the fight to these terrorist groups on the battlefield… And we must also step up our efforts as never before to tackle the terrorist use of the internet…  The tech companies have made significant progress on this issue, but we need to go further and faster to reduce the time it takes to reduce terrorist content online, and to increase significantly their efforts to stop it being uploaded in the first place. This is a major step in reclaiming the internet from those who would use it to do us harm.

May says that ISIS is radicalising people online

“But ultimately, it is not just the terrorists themselves who we need to defeat, it is the extremist ideologies that fuel them. It is the ideologies that preach hatred, sow division and undermine our common humanity. We must be far more robust in identifying these ideologies and defeating them across all parts of our societies.”

Elsewhere in her speech, May urged the Burmese authorities to put an end to the violence in the country and allow humanitarian access.

She criticised Iran for backing “groups like Hezbollah to increase instability and conflict across the Middle East.”

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And she blamed Bashar al Assad for the violence in Syria. “He and his backers have continually frustrated the efforts of the UN to act as the broker of peace through the Geneva Process,” she said. “As responsible states, we must not abandon our support for the UN’s attempts to secure peace and stability in Syria. And indeed, we must continue to call on all those with influence on the regime to bring them to the table.

“But in recent weeks, the UN has also confirmed what we all new, namely that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on its own people. In the face of that, we have a responsibility to stand up, to hold the Syrian regime to account.”

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