The National Counter Terrorism Centre participated in a side event on "Countering Violent Extremism: Promoting Community Level Prevention" held in the United Nations. The objective of the event was for participating countries to share their insights and experiences on the ways and means of promoting community engagement in preventing violent extremism and radicalism. The event was held on 22 September 2017, at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The side event was co-organized by Maldives and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and was moderated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives Dr. Mohamed Asim. In his opening remarks, Minister Asim highlighted the key milestones Maldives has achieved in its efforts to prevent and counter terrorism and violent extremism, and highlighted the significance of the State Policy on Terrorism and Violent Extremism issued by H.E. President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayoom in June 2016.
Minister Asim's remarks were followed by remarks by His Excellency Mr. Abdullah bin Yahya Al-Muallami, the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations. Permanent Representative Al-Muallami stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had been at the forefront of the fight against terrorism and violent extremism, and highlighted the several achievements, especially in terms of rehabilitation, reconciliation and reintegration of former terrorists.
The event also featured briefings from Dr. Raffi Gregorian, Acting Deputy Director of the Bureau of Counter Terrorism, Department of State, US, and Dr. Jehangir Khan, the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (OCT). Following their briefings, Major Hassan Amir, Head of Awareness and Communication, National Counter Terrorism Centre, gave a presentation on the prevention and counter violent extremism efforts underway in the Maldives. Major Amir's presentation included the community-based efforts and activities, preventive law enforcement interventions, as well as efforts to counter violent extremist ideologies through propagation of moderate religious views, awareness and education.
The side event was very well received and several of the participating states, including Canada, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and Belgium expressed their support and willingness to work with Maldives in its efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism.