Bangkok, October 2018 The United Nations Development Programme in Asia and the Pacific and the European Union (EU) will begin work on a new project that aims to address the root causes of violent extremism and promote tolerance and respect for diversity in Southeast Asia.
The region is home to some of the world’s longest-running armed conflicts. The driving forces behind violent extremism in the region are largely found at local levels and are tied to long-term social problems such as political and economic marginalization. Yet extremism has also taken on a transnational aspect, attracting international actors to local conflicts.
“Teaming up with the EU will go a long way to tackle this global threat and ensure better security for the Southeast Asia region,” said Ms Valerie Cliff, UNDP’s Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific. “It shows that both UNDP and the EU are determined to counter violence extremism, empower communities and address inequalities.”
"Prevention is at the heart of the EU’s response to radicalisation, violent extremism and terrorism. Global challenges require global responses and multilateral approaches. The EU gives importance to this partnership with UNDP. EU and UN joint action will address these challenges in Southeast Asia and promote a safer, more open and tolerant world", said H.E. Pirkka Tapiola, EU Ambassador to Thailand.
Directly supporting PVE activities in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, the joint project will employ a three-pronged strategy. The first step is the creation of networks of experts working on the compilation of critical research.
Tied to this, the project will facilitate the creation and implementation of National Action Plans to prevent violent extremism, in line with the UN Secretary General’s Plan of Action adopted in 2015.
Lastly, the project will focus on the strengthening of community resilience.
Priority areas of concern in this project will be the gender dimensions of extremist narratives, and also the important role young people play in preventing the spread of radical ideologies.
Under this project UNDP’s PVE team, with EU support, will continue to implement its work on social media to address extremism online. #ExtremeLives, the live video series seeking to uncover the human face behind violent extremism, is now into its second season with two new episodes. UNDP will also continue partnering with YouTube to train young influential video-makers to promote positive content online through the Creators for Change programme.
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