ABU DHABI, 13th April 2016 (WAM) – Hedayah, the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), participated in the “Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward”, co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations, held at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The goal of this conference is to provide an opportunity for the international community to share experiences and good practices in addressing the drivers of violent extremism and to build support for the UN Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism.

Hedayah’s delegation to the Conference, represented by Maqsoud Kruse, the Executive Director and Ivo Veenkamp the Deputy Executive Director participated in the third session of the first day titled “Priorities for National PVE Plans of Action”.

The session undertook discussions of Dialogue and Conflict Prevention; Strengthening Good Governance; Human Rights and The Rule of Law; Engaging Communities; Empowering Youth; Gender Equality and Empowering Women; Education, Skill Development and Employment Facilitation; Strategic Communications and the Internet and Social Media. Mr. Kruse focused his interactive intervention on the challenges and opportunities in preventing violent extremism (PVE) that is aligning with the heart of work conducted at Hedayah, the first-ever international and independent “Think & Do Tank” on countering violent extremism.

Kruse highlighted the “key methodologies” adopted by Hedayah in developing a set of “good practices” that it shares with the whole world. This is to include: First, “Expert-Policy Axiom” manifested by two documents published by Hedayah “Guidelines and Good Practices for Developing National CVE Strategies” that offers guidance for national governments interested in developing or refining a national CVE strategy, or CVE components as part of a wider counter-terrorism (CT) strategy or framework; “Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Good Practices on Education and CVE” and its “Action Plan” endorsed by all 29 countries and the EU members of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF).

Second, “Knowledge & Capacity Building Programs” exemplified by conducting trainings and workshops aiming to build the knowledge and capacity of different state and non-state actors on the ground in order to develop effective evidence-based responses in priority regions, especially through “Global STRIVE Program”, supported by the European Union.

Third, “Solutions-Focused Conventions” embodied by the following pioneering initiatives: the first-ever “CVE Global EXPO – 2014” and “Hackathon”, that brought together policy makers, CVE exports and practitioners, and Communications & Social Media specialists in order to generate a solution focused “prototypes” on how can we counter the Da’esh online messaging; Hedayah is looking forward to organize “CVE Global EXPO – 2016”.

Through Hedayah’s “thought leading” platform, it organized the “International CVE Research Conference” for two years in a row, exclusively aiming at showcasing and exchanging an “evidence based” research findings that focus on priority themes and regions. Fourth, “Prevention and CVE Advocacy”, that allows a sophisticated and realistic approach towards the reduction of violent extremism threats and challenges.

“The understanding and advancement of preventing and countering violent extremism is not only a soft option, but also strategic imperative”, said Kruse.