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Whole of society approach needed for combatting violent extremism: B’Desh FS Momen

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Dhaka: Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen called for a whole of society approach to prevent violent extremism and for greater community engagements with the involvement of youth, women, community and religious leaders at a high-level event, held on the sidelines of LDC5 Conference in Doha, Qatar yesterday (09 March 2023).

The event titled, “Securing Development for LDC Graduation: Preventing Violent Extremism in Bangladesh” was convened in a hybrid format by the Governing Board of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF). This was chaired by Chair of GCERF Stefano Manservisi and was attended by the representatives from the Government, NGOs and Civil Society.

In his remarks as Chief Guest of the event, the Bangladesh Foreign Secretary highlighted Bangladesh’s government’s strict policy of ‘zero tolerance’ and strategy based on prevention, capacity building and upholding respect to human rights in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism (PVE). He also emphasized Government’s massive awareness programmes to encourage practice of tolerance, inclusiveness and cultural activism in the society.

Foreign Secretary further highlighted Government’s proactive approach in preventing violent extremism since the Holey Artisan attacks in 2016 and exemplary achievements since then which are being lauded by the United Nations and other development partners. He also pointed out Bangladesh’s position ahead of many developed countries and all South Asian countries with sizable population in the Global Terrorism Index (2022).

Foreign Secretary stressed the risk of radicalization of the Rohingyas in absence of hope of dignified repatriation to Myanmar despite Government’s programs for their education, skill development and livelihood. He urged the international community to remain engaged in finding a durable solution of Rohingya crisis.

Chair of GCERF Stefano Manservisi acknowledged Bangladesh’s tremendous socio-economic progress in the recent time that is reflected in its meeting all conditions of graduation out of LDC status by 2026. He attributed Bangladesh’s development to an atmosphere of stability, peace and security which was possible for its proven determination and ability to counter violent extremism.

Foreign Secretary Momen also held a meeting with Mr. Stefano Manservisi and discussed how to strengthen collaboration between Bangladesh and GCERF in preventing violent extremism and maximize the benefits from its activities in Bangladesh as well as how other countries could take Bangladesh’s lead. Bangladesh’s Permanent Representative to Geneva Ambassador Sufiur Rahman and PR to New York Ambassador Abdul Muhith also participated in the discussion.

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