The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) organized today, jointly with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC), a side-event on “Youth Engagement and Vocational Training: Innovative approaches to Address Discrimination, Inequality and Violence”.
With the participation of Member States, United Nations entities and civil society organizations, the event, which took place in the margins of the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue hosted by the Republic of Azerbaijan, focused on the need to further engage and focus on youth as a positive force and a crucial partner in preventing and countering violent extremism conducive to terrorism.
Opening the side-event, Ms. Sevil Alirzayeva, Chief of the Office of the United Nations Under-Secretary- General for Counter-Terrorism, underlined that young women and men, boys and girls, are on the frontline, affected by terrorism in multiple ways. “Terrorism robs young people of their lives and opportunities, of their present and their future. Youth, therefore, has as much a stake as anyone in counter-terrorism. We need practical and innovative ways to help them raise and address their concerns and safeguard their peers and communities.”
The event included an interactive dialogue with experts, including Mr. Keneshbek Sainazarov, Regional Director for Central Asia with Search for Common Ground, Ms. Wedad Al-Hassen, Executive Affairs Manager at Hedayah, Mr. Tony Sgro, Chief Executive Officer of Ed Venture Partners, and Mr. Zain Awan, Growth and Operations Manager at Re:Coded. Experts discussed lessonslearnt and shared good practices to engage, empower and partner with youth through innovative approaches to build resilience to violent extremism conducive to terrorism.
The ideas and recommendations shared at the event will help inform the development by UNOCT of a comprehensive global Youth Programme, through the United Nations Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT), in order to consolidate, reinforce and advance its current youth engagement activities. The Programme will provide a solid long-term framework within which capacity-building support with and for youth can be offered to Member States on a strategic and sustained basis. This framework will also put in place a modality for collaboration with civil society organizations and the private sector on youth and
efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism conducive to terrorism.