1. Guest of Honor, Minister of Higher Education Dr. Ibrahim Hassan
2. Minister of Defence Honourable Ms. Mariya Didi
3. Ambassador of Japan to the Maldives Excellency Ms. Keiko Yanai
4. Director General of National Counter Terrorism Centre Brigadier General Zakariyya Mansoor
5. Members of the Counter Radicalisation Committee
6. Distinguished guests and colleagues
· Assalaamu alaikum and a very warm welcome to you all
· On behalf of UNDP Maldives, it is my pleasure to join you for the closing of this training course.
· Let me begin by thanking all of you for being here today. Your presence and active participation in this training has shown your interest in this important endeavour.
· UNDP believes that the Agenda 2030 and especially Sustainable Development Goal 16 provide a macro level theory of change for preventing violent extremism. They serve as an ideal global platform for our collective development focused efforts.
· In parallel to the collective effort at the global level, national and local levels actions are the key to effective prevention.
· A prevention agenda must focus on understanding and addressing the root causes of violent extremism. Changes in narrative - from anti-terrorism to countering violent extremism to preventing violent extremism - should indicate a genuine shift in approaches.
· Youth are not the problem, but rather an important part of the solution. Unfortunately, young people are still an untapped and undervalued force for peace. We have to support and promote their role as positive agents of change and as partners. Likewise, women play a critical role in understanding, preventing and responding to violent extremism.
· In making this fundamental shift in approach, the training that concluded today emphasised on the very important role civil society plays in adopting a whole-of-society approach towards preventing and countering violent extremism.
· Civil society actors are often well positioned, credible and experienced in working with specific groups to help identify and address the grievances that make individuals more vulnerable to the influence of violent extremist groups.
· Responding to the multifaceted sources and causes of violent extremism, requires comprehensive and sustained partnerships with - a range of people, including government stakeholders and security authorities. Today’s participation of diverse actors shows the strong commitment of all stakeholders.
· Our next training will focus on rehabilitation and reintegration, considering the huge role that rehabilitation and reintegration process influence in preventing further recruitment. The process, including criminal justice measures and community-based initiatives, will need to be consistent with the international human rights laws.
· I would like to use this opportunity to thank the people of Japan for their generous and continuous support provided for promoting peace and tolerance in our region.
· Thank you to the team from the Naif Arab University for Security Services for sharing their knowledge and experience on prevention with us. It has been a great learning experience for all of us here.
· I would also like to applaud the tremendous work that NCTC has been doing on this front since its establishment.
· I thank all national actors for participating in this workshop. This is a clear indication of your commitment towards building a more peaceful and tolerant prospect for our country’s future. I count on all of you attending this workshop to take this forward.
· We at the UNDP stand ever ready and willing to support the prevention efforts, and we believe that this workshop and the upcoming initiatives will build and strengthen the national capacity for the same.