See also:

Cross-regional workshop assists ASEAN region with the development of national action plans to prevent violent extremism


Bangkok (Thailand), 29 November 2017 - A landmark cross-regional workshop was held in Bangkok from 27 to 29 November, gathering government and civil society representatives from South and Southeast Asia countries with the aim of exchanging knowledge and experiences on how to develop and implement National Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE).

National Action Plans are comprehensive policy documents that governments can adopt to promote a holistic approach to PVE. In January 2016 the UN Secretary General presented his "Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism", introducing a series of systematic preventive steps to address the underlying conditions that drive individuals to violent extremism and terrorism. In his document, the Secretary General also called upon Member States to develop their own National Action Plans on PVE.

In line with the UN Secretary General's call for an "all-of-UN" approach to PVE assistance, the workshop was convened by a team of five UN agencies including the recently established United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Women and UN Volunteers.

Throughout the meeting, a mix of government officials, civil society delegates and members of the academia from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand shared views and experiences in dealing with different forms of violent extremism, identifying some of the major challenges and key recommendations to promote "whole-of-society" responses to violent extremism. Experts from Hedayah and the Global Centre on Cooperative Security provided technical knowledge on the main elements and methodologies for the development of comprehensive and measurable National Action Plans on PVE.

Through the provision of technical assistance aimed at strengthening rule of law-based criminal justice responses to terrorism, UNODC plays a key role in helping Member States to develop effective and sustainable PVE strategies. In this regard, during his remarks at the opening ceremony of the workshop, Mr. Hernan Longo, UNODC's Regional Counter-Terrorism Advisor, noted that "there is a direct correlation between counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism. Counter-terrorism policies and practices which do not account properly for human rights safeguards will inevitably create more violent extremism that may lead to terrorism. To stop this vicious cycle, countries must ensure that their counter-terrorism strategies are in line with international human rights and rule of law standards."