(Courtesy ASEAN Secretariat) — Representatives from ASEAN Member States, the ASEAN Secretariat, the United Nations, research institutes and civil society have come together in Jakarta on November 8 to discuss how to prevent conflict and violent extremism in the ASEAN region.
The event, “ASEAN-UN Collaboration in Conflict Prevention, Preventive Diplomacy and Prevention of Violent Extremism,” highlighted the importance of cooperation between ASEAN and UN as well as the various roles of religious organisations, women, youth and civil society in preventing violent extremism.
Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir opened the event together with Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the United Nations Miroslav Jenča and Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Political Security Community Hirubalan V P.
“Addressing the root causes is extremely crucial in tackling violent extremism in our region through an ASEAN approach that is people-centred and people-oriented with protection and empowerment of people as the two key components,” stated Vice Minister Fachir.
Noting that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon presented his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism to the United Nations General Assembly in January this year, Assistant Secretary-General Jenca stated, “regional cooperation is particularly important to address the drivers of violent extremism. The UN Secretary-General has called for UN Member States to come together to complement their national strategies by adopting new regional or sub-regional plans of action to prevent violent extremism facilitated on the basis of national ownership and according to regional priorities.”
Deputy Secretary-General Hirubalan also highlighted that ASEAN has not been spared from the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism. “It is in this context that we value the continued discussions across many platforms on the nature of the threat to understand its dimensions, root causes, counters if that is at all possible, the impact on societies and communities, and the steps required to enhance the resilience and solidarity of the citizenry in facing this challenge,” he said.
This is the fifth ASEAN-UN Workshop: Regional Dialogue on Political-Security Cooperation which is jointly organised by the UN Department of Political Affairs; including the UN Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia; the Centre for Strategic and International Studies; ASEAN Secretariat; and the ASEAN Foundation.
This two-day workshop is the latest in an annual series of ASEAN-UN regional workshops on political-security cooperation since the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership was adopted by the Leaders of ASEAN and the United Nations Secretary-General in November 2011 in Indonesia.