Diplomatic Institute Organizes Forum on Combating Violent Extremism

The Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Institute organized on Monday a forum on combating violent extremism on the sidelines of the seventh meeting for the board of Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), which will be hosted in Doha on Tuesday for the first time in the Middle East.

The forum was attended by the secretarial of the fund, and entities related to fighting violent extremism, administrations, concerned offices from different ministries such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, academic and research institutions and a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations.

The forum aimed to coordinate and unify the efforts of fighting violent extremism and to benefit from global experiences in the field. It also aimed to introduce the efforts of the State of Qatar in the field of blocking extremism and assisting local societies on resilience and the State’s financial contributions in supporting GCERF.

Through three discussion panels, the forum addressed fighting violent extremism, introducing the efforts of the civil society organizations in the State of Qatar and the importance of creating job opportunities to prevent the spread of violent extremism between the youth. The panels also discussed the preventative methods, the role of education in contributing to blocking violent extremism and the role and activities of Qatari institutions in areas of international conflicts and wars.

The forum participants confirmed the importance of peace and rapid response and development efforts, national reconciliation, social and transitional justice, education and social harmony, in facing violent extremism. They also reiterated that education is the core of safety in any society as it plays a major role in preserving peace and immunizing societies against extremism and violence and is considered a radical solution to all societies.

Special Envoy of Qatar’s Foreign Minister for Counterterrorism and Mediation of Conflict Resolution, Dr. Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, revealed the role of the State of Qatar and the great efforts it is making regionally and internationally in mediating and preventing conflicts. He also revealed that Qatar is enabling youth, providing education opportunities and is eradicating unemployment.

Al Qahtani referred to the role of Qatari institutions and its initiatives such as Al Fakhoora program, Educate A Child and Education Above All who spread education and provide job opportunities in areas of conflict. The State contributes to providing education opportunities to more than seven million children in more than 47 countries, through its contributions to the fund and in all institutions active in the system against violent extremism, he added.

Al Qahtani said social and economic marginalization, lack of good governance, conflict outbreak and resolving it with non-peaceful methods are of the main factors leading to violent extremism. He added that the State of Qatar focuses its foreign policies on preventive diplomacy and the prevention of conflict and its outbreak, in addition it plays a main and leading role in mediation to resolve conflicts.

Al Qahtani added that the U.N. set a work plan with recommendations to face violent extremism around the world compelling states to build their national strategies to combat this phenomenon on the basis of these recommendations. He said the State of Qatar’s strategy on this matter focuses on preventing conflict and preventative diplomacy through education, creating job opportunities and enabling the youth.

Chairman of Qatar’s National Counter Terrorism Committee at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Abdul Aziz Abdullah Al Ansari, said the absence of violent extremism in the State of Qatar is the result of several factors, mainly the social and political and economic stability, and good communication between all groups of society, the high level of education, and the great role played by civil society institutions and the media in the prevention of this scourge.

He added that the State of Qatar, thanks to its belief in the importance of prevention and in view of the circumstances in which the region is going through, has launched a national strategy to combat violent extremism and terrorism, which focuses on prevention and protection of society from within, and to punish the perpetrators of these acts in the case of convictions.

He pointed out that it has been communicating with the concerned parties in this area and discussed in the terms of the strategy and then sent to the United Nations to put their comments on them.

Al Ansari stressed the importance of protecting the community internally and externally through the rapid exchange of information, and the provision of systems that facilitate this between different countries, especially with regard to the subject of the return of foreign fighters, which imposed recently.

On the other hand, Silatech Chief Executive Officer Sabah Ismail Al Haidoos reviewed the efforts of the foundation in combating unemployment and providing a decent life for the members of society, noting that the foundation provided more than 500,000 jobs in the Arab world, which has had the effect of stopping the sources of terrorism and to guide young people and prevent their marginalization, especially since most of these efforts were in areas marginalized and border and close to the conflict.

She explained that the institution was able to reach poor families and train and support them in cooperation with international organizations in areas not reached by several humanitarian organizations as in Yemen, Sudan, Libya, Somalia by providing soft loans, electronic platforms and other means on which the institution depends on.

Al Haidoos added that Silatech is conducting in-depth studies to find out the causes of youth extremism in order to provide assistance programs in accordance with the situation, noting that Silatech has mobilized more than 150 partners around the world carefully selected from civil society and government institutions.

GCERF Chairperson Carol Bellamy praised Qatar’s great efforts in supporting education, security and safety in the world, as well as its role in training, qualifying and developing youth skills in marginalized areas.

She spoke about the role of the fund, its policy and its efforts in various countries of the world to provide employment opportunities , and the role of these efforts in preventing the spread of violent extremism, stressing that unemployment, corruption and discrimination represent a major incentive for extremism and make young people an easy target to accept belonging to the world of crime and violence.

In the same context, Interpeace Director General Scott Weber stressed the importance of trust between the security institutions and society as well as rectifying the wrong culture prevailing among young people in the third world that life in Western countries is rosy and that violence achieves what can not be achieved by honest work, while focusing on the honorable and successful models in his country so as to avoid being dragged into the quagmire of extremism.

He pointed out that violence does not disappear from any society but may take other forms such as providing services of extremism , stressing the need to study the different forms of extremism, and to know the elements that make violence and its transformation with a focus on dealing with factors that undermine confidence between security and society, as well as to study the motives that make young people engage in the crime world and eliminate the processes of exclusion and violence towards a particular sect or ideology, while looking fairly and balance with all communities in the World.

The seminar was moderated by the assistant director of the Diplomatic Institute, Nadia Ahmed Al Shaibi.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs