On Tuesday, 6 December two events discussing the global efforts on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) took place at the GCSP.
Eric Rosand, Director of the Prevention Project: Organizing against Violence and non-Resident Fellow at Brookings Institute presented his report “Harnessing the Power of Communities: Preventing Violent Extremism in 2017 and Beyond.” Mr Rosand presented the report's key findings to the Geneva-based expert community on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). The report takes stock of the current global efforts in PVE and offers important recommendations and guidelines as well as examples of P/CVE initiatives being led by civil society organisations worldwide.
Mr Rosand highlighted that there needs to be a more comprehensive and strategic approach that empowers local actors and focuses more attention on community-led interventions. He highlighted the importance of securing funding and highlighted political and strategic challenges that will need to be overcome if the rhetoric around PVE is to be translated into action and, ultimately, impact. The public discussion was chaired by Dr Christina Schori Liang, Senior Advisor on Global Terrorism and Organised Crime and Senior Fellow at GCSP. Dr Liang highlighted that threats have become more global and localized and that leaders are cognizant that military, law enforcement and intelligence responses aren’t sufficient because treating only the symptoms of extremism has proved ineffective. Rather, the focus must be on addressing the underlying conditions that give rise to terrorism and violent extremism. The policy recommendations captured in this report were commented on by Amb Stephan Husy, Ambassador-at-Large for International Counter-Terrorism at the Swiss Federal Department for Foreign Affairs who discussed the importance of definitions, standard setting and coherence when designing PVE strategies. Jason Aplon, who works as Post-Conflict and DDR Advisor in the International Organization for Migration’s Transition and Recovery Division discussed the importance of having alternatives to political expression and the importance of opening the aperture of PVE work to leave space for local voices and local definitions.
Following the Public Discussion, the US Mission and the GCSP convened an Expert Community Meeting of PVE experts, this session offered participants the ability to discuss the report in greater detail and enabled for more dialogue and information sharing.