17-18, 09:00am, Hyatt Hotel, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Opening statement by Dr (Ms) Pratibha Mehta,

UNDP Resident Representative in Tajikistan

Honourable Tomohiro Nakagaki, Charge d’affaires of the Embassy of Japan in the Republic of Tajikistan,

Representatives of the Government of Tajikistan,

Representatives of the development partners,

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It's my privilege and pleasure on behalf of UNDP in Tajikistan to welcome all of you here in Dushanbe at the Regional Dialogue on Emerging Trends in Violent Extremism and Preventive Responses.

Violent extremism undermines peace and security, sustainable development and human rights. The root causes of violent extremism are quite complex. But we know that violent extremism flourishes when people feel voiceless, excluded, abused, marginalized, when their identity is questioned and when too many people – especially young people – lack hope and meaning in their lives.  It is a reaction to a perceived failure in development.

The challenges of preventing violent extremism is its constant growth and expansion with evolving trends, means and patterns of radicalization. Often, it does not recognize borders and social boundaries, and has become a global phenomenon. It is not limited to any one religion, nationality or ethnic group.

Inclusive and equitable development can largely contribute in preventing violent extremism using comprehensive development approach and cooperation. UNDP plays a key role in preventing violent extremism efforts globally by implementing projects that address or contribute to the prevention of violent extremism. UNDP's contribution to prevention of violent extremism is based on its mandate and focuses on development solutions, stems from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (in particular SDG16) that recognizes the connection between peace and sustainable development. It reflects the notion that if young people are drawn to violent extremism due to lack of social or economic opportunity or engagement, development actors should help address those root causes. It complements the Secretary General’s Action Plan on Prevention of Violent Extremism.

Today’s Regional Dialogue, which is organized within Strengthening Community Resilience and Regional Cooperation for Prevention of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism in Central Asia”, generously supported by the Government of Japan, aims to highlight key trends in violent extremism. We expect that this Regional Dialogue will stimulate sharing experience and seeking best practices in repatriation, rehabilitation and social reintegration of individuals, that have joined foreign conflicts as well as allow to discuss emerging trends and challenges in the nexus of information nd communication technologies and violent extremism.

It has already become a good tradition to carry out similar events in other countries of Central Asia as such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyz Republic, which have already hosted Regional Dialogues.

I hope that this consultation and dialogue will serve as an effective platform for you to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices.

I would like to express our sincere gratitude to our colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Prosecutor Office for hosting Regional Dialogue in Dushanbe and for their support in making this event happen.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish you fruitful and pleasant cooperation during the upcoming two days.  Thank you very much for your attention!

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