In his welcoming remarks, the Director of the Prevention Project, Eric Rosand, noted how the PVE (preventing violent extremism) community continues to expand, drawing in experts, practitioners, and organizations from different areas, including peace-building, conflict prevention, youth and gender empowerment, and community engagement. He stressed how deeper and broader collaboration, cooperation, and networking within and among civil society, municipal authorities, national governments, and multilateral organizations, including development agencies, are needed for the global PVE effort to achieve sustained positive impact. He noted that as a global civil society PVE platform, the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) is committed to these objectives.
On 21 September 2017, on the margins of the 72nd UN General Assembly, the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) marked its first year of activity by hosting #GSX2017 – Innovations in Civil Society and Other Locally-Led Efforts to Prevent Violent Extremism. The all-day event brought dozens of civil society practitioners— many at the helm of women’s and youth organizations including members of the global networks such as the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL)—from around the globe together with representatives from national and local authorities and multilateral institutions, to highlight their unique contributions to reducing recruitment and radicalization into violence in their communities. More than 180 policymakers, practitioners, diplomats, and experts attended the event.
Participants underlined the innovative approaches that each sector brings to PVE and the necessity of ensuring diversity in the planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of national and local strategies. Despite their contributions, however, the representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) reminded the audience of the ways in which the legal and political space for CSOs is shrinking in certain contexts, often in the name of counterterrorism (CT), and stressed that governments and multilateral institutions must recognize and support independent civil society as a strong partner in PVE.
The discussions also emphasized the need for greater attention to structural factors and direct actions that actors can take in the realms of education, economic empowerment, security, religion, and culture to prevent violent extremism.
A Global Solutions Exchange Event
21 September 2017, New York, NY
New York – 12 September 2017 – As officials and dignitaries from all across the world gather for the 72nd United Nations General Assembly, a collective of civil society groups are gathering at an all-day event to draw attention to the important and innovative role that civil society and other local actors are playing in preventing violent extremism (PVE).
Hosted by the co-founders of the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX), the 21 September event brings extraordinary women, youth, and other community leaders from Canada to Cameroon, Morocco to Montenegro, and Tunisia to Tanzania to highlight their unique contributions they to reducing recruitment and radicalization to violence in their communities, including by promoting peace, resilience, equality and pluralism (PREP). Leaders of municipal-level, local prevention networks in Jordan, Lebanon, and elsewhere helping communities resist the siren call of violent extremism and reintegrate former fighters will also share their experiences.
Director of the Prevention Project and co-leader of the GSX Eric Rosand said “This event will demonstrate why it is so important that more governments take steps to recognize and support civil society as an ally and not an adversary when it comes to PVE”. GSX co-leader, and Executive Director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN), Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, said “local women-led organizations and other CSOs felt the rise of violent extremism years ago and have been at the frontlines of the fight against it with innovative, positive and sustainable solutions. Launched at the UN in 2016, the GSX brings their expertise to the international arena, to inform and improve our collective knowledge and practice.”
The event will provide global and national policymakers practical recommendations and tested solutions on effectively preventing violent extremism in partnership with civil society.
What is the GSX?
The GSX is an independent civil society-led policy analysis, and collaboration platform dedicated to preventing violent extremism (PVE) and supporting the implementation of relevant global frameworks at the regional, national, and local levels. The GSX is committed to providing policymakers with practical solutions recognizing the unique perspectives of women- and youth-led and other civil society organizations to enable the development of sustainable “whole of society” approaches to reducing radicalization and recruitment to violence.
Who leads the GSX?
The GSX steering group consists of the ICAN, spearheading the global Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), the Prevention Project, the Global Center on Cooperative Security, the Royal United Services Institute, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, and Search for Common Ground.
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