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UAE passes draft law re-launching global counter-extremism centre


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Abu Dhabi: The UAE passed Tuesday a draft law setting up the International Centre for Excellence in Countering Violent Extremism, Hedaya (Arabic for ‘guidance’), in Abu Dhabi.

“UAE embraces moderation and tolerance, that extremism is unacceptable in religions, internationally and morally and that global cooperation is necessary for fighting this menace, Dr Anwar Gargash Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, told the House.

The new law re-launched the landmark anti-terror initiative, which was initially launched on the sidelines of the Global Counter-terrorism Forum, in 2012.

Dr Gargash reiterated the UAE’s hosting of the global centre upholds its principle of tolerance, which stands on the opposite bank of violent extremism.

“The UAE is honoured to assume our role in coordinating international community efforts to get rid of threats posed by violent extremism through this centre,” he said.

The centre, an international incubator of a pool of experts and specialists from 30 member countries who partner with their in-house peers to counter violent extremism, is a part of the New York-based Global Counterterrorism Forum, launched in 2011 at the foreign ministers level.

The UAE and the UK co-chair the Countering Violent Extremism Working Group of the Global Counterterrorism Forum, which aims to strengthen measures to counter all forms of violent extremism that pose a threat to members’ interests.

The centre’s key areas of interest include cultural diplomacy, countering violent extremism through curricula, denunciation of radicalism in prisons and supporting terror victims.

The Centre will forge a series of partnerships with credible institutions to carry out its activities. These partnership will be held with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy Centre, Jakarta Centre for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Jump Sports Academies in Abu Dhabi, Mohammad Bin Nayef Counselling and Care Centre in Saudi Arabia, Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe and Women without Borders.

Joint cooperation will also be made with key EU and UN agencies like the UN Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute.

The “think and do” tank provides communities and governments around the world with tools to increase their capabilities to counter extremism and recruitment efforts by terrorist organizations.

Hedayah was created by the UAE, US, and other member countries of the Global Counterterrorism Forum in 2012.

Hedayah is the premier international organisation dedicated to using its expertise and experiences to countering violent extremism (CVE) in all of its forms and manifestations through dialogue, communications, capacity building programs, research and analysis. As a leader within the CVE community, we work to enhance understanding and share good practices to effectively build the capacity of CVE actors across the globe to promote tolerance, stability, and security.

The centre’s significance lies in its abilities to:

  • Produce high-quality research and evidence-based insights as a “think & do” tank, while promoting and supporting the implementation of effective CVE policies and programs.
  • Convene experienced and relevant CVE experts, policymakers and practitioners from around the world, developing and drawing upon a unique international network.
  • Ensure that policies, programs, outputs, deliverables, and programs are evidence-based.
  • Serve as an independent, apolitical and non-ideological organization, providing a neutral platform for discussion, discourse, and debates among diverse actors in the CVE field.
  • Connect with entities and individuals from governments, NGOs, CSOs, private sector and communities that may be unapproachable by some donors (governmental or others).
  • Provide the opportunity for multiple donors (governmental or others) to share the burden and mutually support CVE programs, with less risk and at a lower cost to themselves.

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