Bangladesh: National Workshop boosts dialogue on combatting violent extremism


Dhaka/22-23 March 2017: A distinguished group of international experts convened for a special workshop in Bangladesh to discuss ways and best practices to prevent and counter violent extremism. Held in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Bangladesh, the workshop was attended by 30 participants from various national and global agencies, government bodies and international civil society organisations.

Md. Shahidul Haque, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh and Dr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary (Public Security Division), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Bangladesh inaugurated the workshop, while the keynote address was delivered by Mr. Sergey Kapinos, Regional Representative, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia.

In an engaging presentation, Mr. Philip Divett, Programme Officer, UNODC/Terrorism Prevention Branch reflected on the international framework, standards and norms to address violent extremism. Mr. Paul Jordan, a consultant from the United Kingdom spoke on the UK's policy, legal and institutional frameworks aimed at securing the country from the scourge of fanaticism.

Mr. Md. Monirul Islam, DIG, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crimes, Dhaka Metropolitan Police also underscored the experience of Bangladesh in tackling the issue over the years, while Mr Max Boon, (Founder and Director) Voice for Victims Project,  Aliansi Indonesia Damai (AIDA) emphasised the steps taken by Indonesian authorities in checking extremism in schools.

Ms. Maria Lozano Alia, a consultant from Spain and Mr. Marco de Swart, Senior Portfolio Manager, the International Centre for Counter Terrorism (ICCT) shared their perspectives on the Role of Civil Society (including Associations of Victims) and the need for effective partnerships in Countering the Terrorist Narrative.

Discussions also revolved around the recruitment, support and travel of Foreign Terrorist Fighters and the overall experience of South Asia in responding to the emerging threat.