New York, 24 September 2019. On the occasion of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, UNICRI, the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) and the Global Center on Cooperative Security (Global Center), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, are organizing the side event Youth Engagement and Resilience Against Violent Extremism in the Sahel.The event will be held from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Building on the experience of youth representatives from the Region as well as on the lessons learned provided by ongoing initiatives, the event will discuss the role of young people as critical and active actors in enhancing community resilience and strengthening violent extremism prevention.
In particular, the event will provide the opportunity to better understand the perspective of Sahelian youths regarding radicalization and extremism leading to violence, as well as to identify the factors that contribute to their resilience against the phenomenon. During the side event good and promising practices to engage and build youth resilience against violent extremism will also be discussed. The purpose of the meeting is also to strengthen international cooperation in the Region.
Side event #UNGA Youth engagement & resilience #Sahel Leif Villadsen: youth take the lead in championing alternatives to violence building community resilience & facilitating reconciliation @DanishMFA @KSahelMaghreb #Senegal @UN @ICCT_TheHague @GlobalCtr https://t.co/NRRGkatBhb pic.twitter.com/CwmZGlJvcr— UNICRI (@UNICRI) September 24, 2019
As recognized by the Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) “today’s generation of youth is the largest the world has ever known” and the international community shall “consider ways to increase inclusive representation of youth in decision-making at all levels in local, national, regional and international institutions and mechanisms for the prevention and resolution of conflict, including institutions and mechanisms to counter violent extremism.”
Permanent Mission of Senegal to @UN "Faire de jeunes des partenaires de premier rang, d’en faire des acteurs de la societé civile et politique et d’en faire des relais de la resilience des communautés" @DanishMFA @DKSahelMaghreb @ICCT_TheHague @GlobalCtrhttps://t.co/NRRGkatBhb pic.twitter.com/HboYAOW6HE— UNICRI (@UNICRI) September 24, 2019
The event will bring together youth leaders from the Sahel, stakeholders working in the region, along with experts, civil society representatives, and government officials. Guest speakers will include Rahama Nantoumé, a Malian researcher and project manager at Think Peace Sahel; Yehiya Bore, a journalist and youth leader from Mal;, and Maji Peterx, working as lead facilitator at Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), as coordinator at Carefronting, and Senior Fellow at the Global Center on Cooperative Security.
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. To register please RSVP here.
Youth engagement & resilience in #Sahel: J. Pruzan-Jørgensen: Denmark promotes development with & by young people, we believe youth inclusion is key to achieving the SDGs @DanishMFA @DKSahelMaghreb Permanent Mission of Senegal @UN @ICCT_TheHague @GlobalCtr https://t.co/NRRGkatBhb pic.twitter.com/kTqCcmKU6k— UNICRI (@UNICRI) September 24, 2019
ICCT and UNICRI are currently implementing the project Mali (Dis-) Engagement and Re-Integration related to Terrorism (MERIT), to engage and empower young women and men with the knowledge, skills and values to bridge the gap between different ethnic groups, rural and urban communities, and between youth and older generations. The project aims to foster community resilience, critical thinking skills, and contribute to build a shared sense of citizenship.
UNICRI is also implementing the Pilot Project on Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism in the Sahel-Maghreb Regions, to identify innovative and sustainable measures that could help in strengthening the resilience of local communities to radical narratives, terrorist recruitment and violent extremism.
ICCT and the Global Center collaborated on the initiative, Engaging Civil Society Actors in the Rehabilitation & Reintegration of Violent Extremist Offenders and Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters, which focused on the work of civil society organizations to support the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremist offenders, victims of violence, and affected communities in the Sahel, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia.
The Global Center, through its small grant making program, is also enhancing the capacity of civil society actors in the rehabilitation and reintegration of those involved in and affected by terrorism. In addition, it is working in partnership with Carefronting-Nigeria and the Kenya Community Support Centre to implement a project aimed at empowering youth leaders to counter violent extremism and promote resilient communities in northeast Nigeria and coastal Kenya.