3 December 2018, Almaty – a Regional Dialogue devoted to the topic of Youth Inclusion and Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE): Understanding the Nexus was launched today in Almaty, with participants coming from government, civil society and international organisations from all the five Central Asian countries and globally.

UNDP Kazakhstan hosts the second out of five regional dialogues within the regional UNDP project aimed at prevention of violent extremism conducive to terrorism in Central Asia. The project with a budget of US$ 6.4 million is generously funded by the Government of Japan. It is spearheaded by UNDP in Kazakhstan and jointly implemented with UNDP offices in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and strategic support from UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub. The series of Regional Dialogue Events have been envisaged to bring together relevant stakeholders and deepen the understanding and effectiveness of responses to violent extremism in the region.

The ‘Youth Inclusion and PVE: Understanding the Nexus’ event focuses on the role of young people in sustaining peace and security and their larger participation in society. During the two-day event, participants will explore the significance of socio-economic exclusion in creating vulnerabilities for young people, identify sensitivities, risks and challenges for youth in this space, as well as debate the appropriate and effective responses required from policy-makers and practitioners. Importantly, the agenda brings forward young people’s achievements and efforts in creating safer, more just and more inclusive societies:

“When talking about prevention, we always see youth not as a risk factor, but rather solution. Many of our activities are aimed at youth empowerment so that they become agents of change capable of sharing their positive life experiences among their peers in communities”, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kazakhstan Mr. Norimasa Shimomura pointed out in his welcome speech.

While lack of opportunities and youth unemployment have been commonly suggested as structural ‘push’ factors and major drivers of radicalisation and violent extremism, the evidence remains mixed. Stereotypical representations of the recruitment and participation of young men and women in violent extremist groups have distorted policy priorities that continue to treat the youth population as a homogeneous, problematic group – a narrative that risks exacerbating rather than addressing their underlying experiences of marginalisation.

The event convenes UN agencies together with government officials, youth actors and representatives, academics, experts, think-tanks, donors and civil society representatives and other partners who have both relevant programmatic as well as research experience in this field. The goal of the discussions is to share research and empirical evidence about youth inclusion and facilitate connections between different stakeholders, creating a platform for young people and those who work with them to share their perspectives with policy-makers.

Contacts:

Ainur Kanafina (Ms.), Regional Project Manager, Strengthening Community Resilience and

Regional Cooperation for PVE Conducive to Terrorism in Central Asia, +7 7172 69 65 50, mobile: +7 705 33 22 151, ainur.kanafina@undp.org

 

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