At the opening ceremony. ©UNDP

13 September 2018 Bishkek – The Regional Dialogue devoted to mapping the research in the area of Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism in Central Asia was officially commenced by Mr. Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative in the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Mr. Yoshihiro Yamamura, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Kyrgyz Republic and Zakir Chotatev, Deputy Director of State Agency for Religious Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The Regional Dialogue was the first among five regional dialogues to be hosted by the Central Asian countries. The dialogue series is part of the regional UNDP initiative aimed at prevention of violent extremism conducive to terrorism in Central Asia, and generously funded by the Government of Japan at the amount of US$ 6.4 million. The initiative focuses on both programmatic activities in select Central Asian communities and research. The Bishkek Regional Dialogue was the first step towards providing a platform for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) practitioners and expert community to work together and thereby contribute towards broader PVE research efforts in the Central Asia region. The initiative is spearheaded by the UNDP country office in Kazakhstan and jointly implemented with UNDP offices in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, with a strategic support from the UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub.

“Violent extremism is a challenge for Governments of Central Asia that they tackle in multiple ways. The workshop gathers practitioners and professionals to design the right solutions and support national institutions to address this challenge effectively”, said UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo in his welcome speech.

In his opening speech, Ambassador Yoshihiro Yamamura mentioned that "Countering terrorism is an important task for both Japan's diplomacy and the international community. The fight against terrorism is one of the basic principles of Japan's international cooperation. I express the hope that due to the assistance to the social development of youth in cooperation with UNDP, the risk of radicalization of citizens will be reduced, which in turn will contribute to the maintenance of stability in the countries of Central Asia".

The intensive technical discussions of among 60 PVE researchers, experts and practitioners from around the globe representing UN agencies, academia, and think tanks, civil society organizations, and other partners from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as well as Eurasia, Africa, Europe, and America facilitated:

    The discussion of the state of knowledge on violent extremism dynamics in Central Asia and across the globe,

    Establishment of linkages between expert community and the identification of synergies between ongoing and future researches,

    The mapping of research gaps in the PVE area and the prioritization of upcoming research plans.

In his closing remarks, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Kazakhstan Mr. Norimasa Shimomura mentioned that the Regional Dialogue is essential in further accelerating/strengthening regional cooperation among knowledge community and outlined such further steps will calibrate achieving tangible results for the benefit of people in most vulnerable communities in Central Asia.

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