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Collective Solutions to Counter-Terrorism in Focus at African Regional High-Level Conference 

Nairobi, 11 July 2019 - The largest ever meeting of African states to determine collective solutions in support of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy has concluded today in Nairobi.

The two-day African Regional High-Level Conference on Counter-Terrorism and the Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism was officially opened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and His Excellency the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta.More than 1,400 delegates from Member States, regional and international organizations, and civil society participated in the conference hosted by the Government of the Kenya and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) among the supporting partners.

The conference outcomes include a commitment to build new and strengthened partnerships, both between African states, and between Africa states and the rest of the international community, including the United Nations.

The Secretary-General in his opening address stated that: "For terrorism to be defeated, it is essential that African counter-terrorism is holistic, well-funded, underpinned by respect for human rights, and most importantly backed by strong political will.

I deeply believe that African peace-enforcing and counter-terrorism operations must have strong and clear mandates by the UN Security Council backed by sufficient, predictable and sustainable financial support, namely through assessed contributions." President Kenyatta stated that Kenya had established anti-terrorism county action plans to reduce threats to the country and called on African states to enhance both their internal capacities to deal with terrorism as well as their preparedness to attend to cross-border threats. UNODC held four well-attended side events that attracted constructive debate and information sharing on the links between transnational organized crime and terrorism, gender dimensions to criminal justice responses to terrorism, a database to use evaluation results of preventing violent extremism (PVE) initiatives and children associated with terrorism and violent extremist groups.The latter topic focused on the UNODC roadmap on the treatment of children associated with terrorism and violent extremist groups.

The side events were led by the UNODC Regional Representative in Eastern Africa, Dr. Amado Philip De Andrés, and the Chief of UNODC's Terrorism Prevention Branch, Mr. Masood Karimipour, who emphasized the commitment of UNODC on countering terrorism and the need for better threat assessments, specialized capacity building, international cooperation and pragmatic programming needed to counter threats.Extremist groups tend to prey on populations experiencing marginalization, economic desperation and poor governance.Men, women and youths across Africa continue to be radicalized and recruited. The side events created a great platform for impactful discussions that helped in finding collective solutions to fighting terrorism & preventing extremism in Africa which is essential to preserve peace & security in the world.