Ashgabat, 23 December 2020: UNDP and EU launched a new project “Strengthening resilience to prevent violent extremism in Asia (STRIVE Asia) Joint EU-UN Partnership”. The STRIVE Asia is an EU-UN partnership, funded by EU which contributes to preventing and countering violent extremism in Central, South and South East Asia through a series of comprehensive measures to be put in place during 2021-2022. Under the overall coordination of UNOCT, STRIVE Asia has three implementing partners: the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The inception meeting was opened by Ms. Halbibi Tachjanova, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan Mr. Diego Ruiz Alonso, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkmenistan, and Ms. Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative a. i.

The event was also attended by  Marina Laurent, Regional Coordination Officer, UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT),  representatives of respective authorities and other stakeholders:  General Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of National Security, Central Committee of Youth Organization named after Magtymguly, Women Union as well as representatives of hakimliks and Employment departments of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population in the pilot cities of  Ashgabat, Tejen, Mary, Turkmenabat, Turkmenbashy and Dashoguz.

In Turkmenistan, the project aims to strengthen the resilience of local communities by supporting public PVE initiatives, supporting government and public organizations to achieve goals related to preventing and countering violent extremism among vulnerable population in target areas of the country.

“There is now an international consensus that roots of terror can be found in social, economic and political grounds. Central Asia is also vulnerable to these negative forces. Investing in promoting a robust civil society is the best tool to combat the expansion of radical ideas. Working together at the international level to increase the resilience of societies is the only way to confront the spread of violent extremism. A healthy and strong civil society will be an effective medicine against radicalization and violence,” noted Mr. Diego Ruiz Alonso, Ambassador, Head of the Delegation of the EU to Turkmenistan.

“UNDP works closely with governments, government organizations and civil society partners to prevent violent extremis. Our approach is grounded on the principles of protection of Human Rights; We pay a particular attention to engagement of women and young people in prevention of violent extremism”, emphasized Ms. Natia Natsvlishvili, UNDP Resident Representative a.i.

During the meeting Mehri Karakulova, UNDP Project Coordinator presented project goals, objectives and planned activities for 2021. Participants exchanged opinions on and confirmed their commitment  to the coordinated actions to successfully implement the project.

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