UNODC Promotes Regional Cooperation to Prevent Violent Extremism in South Asia
Violent extremism undermines peace, security, the rule of law, human rights, and development. The UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism (PVE) emphasized that national and global action to prevent violent extremism needs to be complemented by enhanced regional cooperation.
In line with this call, UNODC has been supporting South Asian countries to adopt a collaborative approach to the threats posed by violent extremism through the development of a Regional Network of PVE practitioners of South Asia (SAN-PVE). Developed under the UNODC Regional Programme for South Asia (2018-2022) framework on enhancing the rule of law, peace, security, and justice, SAN-PVE is a unique regional cooperation platform that was designed to bring together both government stakeholders and civil society organizations (CSOs) engaged in PVE efforts to facilitate knowledge-sharing and peer-to-peer learning of good practices in PVE in South Asia. It ultimately contributes to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, which seeks to promote peace, justice and strong institutions.
To further progress the implementation and operationalisation of the SAN-PVE initiative, UNODC and the National Counter-Terrorism Centre of the Republic of Maldives co-organized SAN-PVE’s fourth high-level and technical meetings on 15-16 March 2022 in Male. Participating countries updated attendees on the progress made with regard to implementing the Roadmap on the development of SAN-PVE at the national level, including the nomination of senior-level national contact points who will be the members of the network’s advisory board.
In addition, with the aim of promoting multi-agency and multi-disciplinary approaches as effective and sustainable PVE responses, participating countries agreed on the following SAN-PVE thematic working groups: (1) rehabilitation & reintegration (R&R); (2) law enforcement & criminal justice; (3) education & religious affairs; (4) communication & narratives; and (5) CSOs & local communities. It was also suggested that each country would lead or co-lead one of the identified thematic working groups on a rotational basis and ensure that national and regional needs and priorities are addressed within the groups work. In this context, the meeting participants stressed the need to actively engage CSOs within the SAN-PVE framework and promote a whole-of-society approach to PVE.
Re-affirming their commitment to implementing the SAN-PVE initiative, participating countries concluded by highlighting once again the importance of enhancing regional cooperation in responding to, and preventing the risks of, violent extremism in South Asia and how SAN-PVE could contribute to reaching this objective.
The activity was implemented with funding support from the Government of Japan.