The Minister of Defence and National Security Hon. Adam Shareef Umar inaugurated the National workshop for the Government of Maldives on "Strengthening effective national policies and legal frameworks for preventing and countering violent extremism leading to terrorism through appropriate criminal justice approaches." This workshop is jointly conducted by the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Terrorism Prevention Branch, with assistance from the government of Japan. The workshop will be conducted from 12-13 July 2017, at Hotel Jen, Male'. This workshop includes participants from key stakeholder government ministries, law enforcement agencies and higher educations institutions of the Maldives and other relevant stakeholders involved in the national effort to counter terrorism and violent extremism, as well as experts and practitioners from United Kingdom, Singapore and the Netherlands.
Speaking at the opening session, Minister of Defence and National Security Adam Shareef Umar stated that terrorism is a global phenomenon and no country is immune from the threat. The government of Maldives has recognized the gravity of the threat and has enacted legislative, institutional and policy initiatives to better prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism. Since its inception, the NCTC has leading the national effort, and has contributed immensely towards understanding the threat through intelligence and academic researches and studies.
Minister Adam Shareef also thanked the UNODC for the timely workshop, and for their continued support in building the capacity of the law enforcement agencies. He also thanked the government and the people of Japan for their generous assistance to the Maldives, not only in facilitating the workshop, but also in disaster mitigation, climate resilience and other developmental areas.
His Excellency, the Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives Mr. Kazumi Endo also spoke at the opening session. Ambassador Endo highlighted the fact that the Maldives is world renowned for its high-end tourism industry, natural beauty and peace and tranquility. He also stated that given that tourism contributes a major share of the national GDP and foreign earnings of the Maldives, the government of the Maldives is very proactive in ensuring the peace and stability of the country.
Ambassador Endo also praised the national efforts to foster progressive and moderate religious ideology, enhance patriotism and peaceful tolerance initiated by President Abdulla Yameen in February this year.
Ms. Dolgor Solongo, Officer-in-Charge of the Implementation Support Section 1 of the Terrorism Prevention Branch gave a brief overview of the regional initiative of the UNODC in conducting this workshop. She highlighted the role that UNODC played in capacity and capability building, and enabling the sharing of expertise and knowledge from diverse countries. She also stressed on the importance of the workshop as a platform for national stakeholders to discuss the issues and come to a collective understanding on the best national approach to prevent and counter violent extremism and terrorism.