Evaluating Tools to Combat Extremism

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During today’s meeting on Demobilizing and Disengaging Violent Extremists (DDVE), representatives discussed strategies and challenges for Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration, (DDR) in the case of Somalia and around the world. Panelists stressed the importance of ensuring that the recently established framework on Demobilizing and Disengaging Violent Extremists (DDVE) serves as a pragmatic solution toward mitigating extremism.

Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Policy Expert at the Brookings Institution, gave background on extremists in Somalia. Mr. Abdiaziz Shire, Director of Counterterrorism and Maritime Security at the Ministry of Internal Security in Somalia, noted the need to understand the history of “decades of lawlessness” in the country. Additionally, Dr. Desmond Molloy, Programme Director at the Nippon Foundation, stressed the need for the inclusion of the human security approach within ongoing and future DDR operations.

Panelists highlighted many characteristics of successful DDR programs. Mr. Shire emphasized the vital role that religious leaders play, and Dr. Felbab-Brown noted the importance of families and clan leaders. Ms. Naureen Fink, Research Director at the Global Center on Cooperative Security, also added commentary on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programming. Representatives agreed that a combination of DDR and CVE programming is necessary to fully address the issue. Major General Adrian Foster, UN Deputy Military Advisor, offered insight into the necessity of determining a tangible endpoint within DDR programs, as many operations conclude on arbitrary terms, such as lack of funding or an absence of support from governments. Stakeholders proclaimed their commitment toward upholding DDR practices and found it essential to incorporate more speed and ingenuity into DDR processes.

Meeting: Open meeting of Senior Experts on “Demobilizing and Disengaging Violent Extremists (DDVE): Practical Experience from Somalia” (organized by United Nations University (UNU) in cooperation with the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section of the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions (OROLSI))
Date & Location: Thursday, June 4th, 2015; 09:00-18:00; Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters, New York
Speakers: H.E. Ms. Sylvie Lucas, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations; Mr. Dmitry Titov, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Office of the Rule of Law and Security Institutions; Major General Adrian Foster MBE, UN Deputy Military Advisor; Mr. Abdiaziz Shire, Director of Counterterrorism and Maritime Security, Ministry of Internal Security, Somalia; Dr. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Senior Policy Expert, Brookings Institution; Ms. Naureen Fink, Research Director, Global Center on Cooperative Security; Dr. Bruce Oswald CMC, Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law, University of Melbourne; Dr. Desmond Molloy, Programme Director, Nippon Foundation, Myanmar Liaison Office; Mr. Simon Yazgi, Section Chief, Disarmament, Demobilization, Reintegration Section (DDRS), DPKO; Mr. Ernesto Granillo, Advisor and Spokesperson, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); Ms. Naz Modirzadeh, Director, Harvard Law School Program on International Law and Armed Conflict (PILAC); and Mr. Ibrahim Sesay, Child Protection Specialist in Emergencies, UNICEF.
Written By WIT Representatives: Laurence Hochman and Parth Shingala

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