July 2021 – The European Union (EU), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Nigerian Governmental and Non-Governmental actors gathered on the occasion of the 1st National Roundtable (13 July) and the 1st Steering Committee Meeting (14 July) within the STRIVE Juvenile project in Nigeria.
During the National RoundTable, conducted by UNODC under the guidance of the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), the participants validated the findings of the Situation Analysis related to the issue of children recruitment and exploitation by terrorist and violent extremist groups. These findings assessed key opportunities related to the main challenges, the cooperation among the various sectors involved, and the strategic areas of potential technical assistance, to enhance national capacities and mechanisms that will ensure the prevention of children recruitment and exploitation, the rehabilitation and reintegration of children who have been recruited and exploited, and the security and justice responses.
Through the Situation Analysis, the development of a better understanding of existing institutional, social structures and sources of social capital, which exist at national and local levels to address the issue of children recruitment by terrorist and violent extremist groups, is key to boost the national ownership drive towards the implementation of STRIVE Juvenile.
The following day, the EU, the UNODC, the Nigerian Government and national stakeholders met within the 1st Steering Committee Meeting, which constitutes the primary national level governance mechanism to ensure continued dialogue, optimized coordination and sustainable national ownership within the STRIVE Juvenile project. During the project implementation process, the Steering Committee plays a key role as a forum for project stakeholders to guide, follow-up, and monitor progress. It is also intended to foster confidence between the partner country, key national stakeholders and UNODC in order to develop strong locally buy-in of STRIVE Juvenile, build on national visions, strategies, and frameworks, to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism affecting children.
Jérôme Rivière, Cooperation Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, pledged: “Establishing national level governance mechanisms and credible platforms for dialogue at all levels, such as the Steering Committee Meeting, remains crucial to enhance national ownership and enables STRIVE Juvenile partners to set up viable and sustainable project infrastructure and architecture operating at the federal, state and local level.”
All participants agreed on the fact that sustaining the project implementation through national ownership requires a greater focus on coordination among all actors and integrating planning and management operations surely enshrined in the STRIVE Juvenile project design.
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During the Special Event, the new project STRIVE Juvenile has been presented. STRIVE Juvenile: Preventing and Responding to Violence against Children by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups is a three-year (2021-2024), EUR 5.5 million initiative by the European Union and UNODC. The project aims to partner with the selected countries, the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Iraq and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the development and implementation of comprehensive national responses to prevent and counter violent extremism affecting children, in full respect of human rights, gender equality and international law... Read more