In the last decade, South Asia has experienced one of the highest impacts from terrorism (2019 Global CT Index). As a result, there is increased recognition by governments in the region, and elsewhere, of the serious threat to regional and international security posed by radicalization to violence and violent extremism leading to terrorism in South Asia.
In response to these regional challenges, UNODC’s Terrorism Prevention Branch, in coordination with the National Counter Terrorism Centre of the Republic of Maldives, conducted a two-day online consultation event on “Promoting the development of a regional network in South Asia and effective partnership between public sector, local communities and civil society organizations for preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism” on 11-12 May 2020. The event, which was opened by the Minister of Defence Ms. Mariya Ahmed Didi, brought together international experts and national criminal justice practitioners, relevant state officials and representatives from national civil society organizations.
During the meeting, experts introduced the structure, modalities and technical aspects of the European Union Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN), which was intended to serve as an example of a Network with similar functionalities. Discussions then focused on establishing a regional PVE Network for South Asia as well as tailoring it to the regional context. Participants outlined the needs of law enforcement and criminal justice authorities in the Network and discussed the ways to promote and enhance the key aspects of a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism. All participants recognized the necessary inclusion of civil society organizations in the Network. The event concluded with an agreement to develop a draft roadmap to establish a Regional PVE Network for South Asia, which will be discussed during the next consultation meeting with regional stakeholders.
The event was generously funded by Germany.