A high-level international conference on countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism that will take place in Dushanbe from May 3-4, a source in the Tajik government told Asia-Plus in an interview.

To-date, more than 400 guests have been registered to participate in this conference, the source said.

According to him, representatives of 50 countries of the world and 30 international organizations will participate in the upcoming conference.  

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon is expected to address the conference.

The main objectives of the conference include: creating a common understanding of current challenges and obstacles in the implementation of the UNGCTS in the region and globally; exploring opportunities for strengthening partnership and cooperation at national, regional and international levels on combatting terrorism and violent extremism; sharing opportunities and challenges of Tajikistan’s National Counter-Terrorism Strategy implementation; identifying trends and challenges of radicalization and the role of youth, ideology and information in preventing and combating violent extremism leading to terrorism; exchanging experiences in countering terrorism and preventing violent extremism with a focus on Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) threat prevention; stock-taking of domestic and regional mechanisms to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism; and strengthening cooperation against cyber-terrorism and developing directives/guidelines for countering violent extremism in cyber-space.

Terrorist and violent extremist activities spread across national borders, representing a global security challenge that countries cannot tackle alone.  These challenges demand a multi-sectoral, comprehensive and effective cooperation between national, regional and international-level actors in framing response strategies.  Further, international and domestic experience in countering and preventing violent extremism, radicalism and terrorism shows that succeeding in this area necessitates developing and implementing a range of human rights-based measures to address socioeconomic, legal and institutional factors contributing to the spread of violent narratives and ideologies.  This includes developing people’s resilience against these narratives through a whole-of-society approach involving men and women, girls and boys.

On September 8, 2006, United Nations General Assembly adopted the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UNGCTS) as a unique global instrument to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. The UNGCTS provides a solid and comprehensive foundation for further actions of UN Member States to take practical steps individually and collectively to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism with a human rights-based approach.  In 2011, as part of the UNRCCA-CTITF regional project titled” Towards a Comprehensive Implementation of the UNGCTS in Central Asia”, a Joint Plan of Action (JPoA) for the implementation of the Global Strategy in Central Asia was adopted.  Progress in the implementation of this regional document was reviewed at a regional Ministerial meeting that took place in Ashgabat in June 2017, in presence of UN Secretary General A. Guterres.

The OSCE also adopted a number of documents and initiatives in recent years to assist participating States in preventing and countering violent extremism following a multi-dimensional approach, in accordance with the OSCE Consolidated Framework for the Fight Against Terrorism and Ministerial Council Declaration 4/15 (December 4, 2015) on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism.

Recognizing the need to deepen attention to structural drivers and root causes of terrorism and violent extremism, the United Nations launched a Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in 2016, which urges member states to complement security-driven responses with a range of development-focused solutions and interventions. Moreover, the Plan of Action calls for regional and national PVE action plans to be developed.

In this context, and with the assistance of the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, Tajikistan developed its National Strategy on Countering Terrorism and Extremism (NSCTE) for the period of 2016-2020, adopted on November 12, 2016, which incorporates provisions of the UNGCTS.  The NSCTE requires the relevant authorities to enhance the effectiveness of interaction and ensure the implementation of cooperation agreements on fighting terrorism and violent extremism with fellow Central Asian countries.  Furthermore, the Tajik Government is committed to aligning its interventions in this domain with international norms and best practices including rights-based approaches.

In 2017, a delegation of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee visited Tajikistan, to assess the implementation of the above-mentioned instruments. The Committee identified a number of priority technical assistance areas. This conference is organized as a further element of Tajikistan’s commitment to countering terrorism and violent extremism nationally, regionally and as an international partner.