VENUE: Islamic Ministry Conference Hall
Opening remarks – 26th June, 0900 hrs – 0945 hrs
1. Guest of Honor, Minister of Education Dr. Aishath Ali
2. Minister of Defence Hon. Mariya Didi
3. Minister of Home Affairs Sheikh Imran Abdulla
4. Representative from the Japanese Embassy
5. Director General of National Counter Terrorism Centre Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor
6. Executive Director of Hedayah His Excellency Maqsoud Kurse
7. Members of the Counter Radicalisation Committee
8. Distinguished guests and colleagues
Assalaamu alaikum and a very warm welcome to you all!
· It is my pleasure to join you today at this important workshop.
· Let me begin by congratulating government on organizing this important event, and thank all of you for being here today. Your presence shows your commitment towards creating a peaceful and tolerant community.
Tolerance for diversity and intercultural understanding are at the heart of the new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, on building peaceful, just and inclusive societies. UNDP takes a development approach to the prevention of violent extremism (PVE).
· The hard truth is that Maldives is also facing threats of violent extremism.
· Despite being a nation of kindness, peace, tolerance and respect, these values are slowly eroding and there are small factions in the community that are preaching intolerance, hate and violence among community members.
· For us to prevent violence, we need rebuild our country as a peaceful, tolerant and respectful nation.
· And to achieve this, all of us have a role to play.
· Government can enhance participatory decision-making and increasing civic space at national and local levels and provide effective socio-economic alternatives to violence for groups at risk;
· Faith-based organizations and religious leaders can counter the abuse of religion by violent extremists;
· Media can promote human rights and tolerance;
· Schools and universities can respect for human rights, diversity and a culture of global citizenship.
· Civil society is present in every community in the country, and you can make a huge impact on all of the prevention efforts.
· We at the UNDP stand ever ready and willing to support the prevention efforts, and we believe that this workshop will help strengthen the national prevention efforts.
· I would like to thank the Japanese Embassy for their generous and continuous support provided for promoting peace and tolerance in our region.
· I would also like to applaud the tremendous work that NCTC has been doing on this front since its establishment. I count on all of you attending this workshop to take this forward and UNDP looks forward working with you towards building a more peaceful and tolerant prospect for our country’s future.