Root causes of extremism should be identified along with counter-terrorism for complete elimination of this global concern, observed security experts at a programme in the capital yesterday.
It requires a global effort to develop the skills and capabilities of the public and private sectors to support local, community-based initiatives to strengthen resilience against violent extremist agendas, said Dr Khalid Koser, executive director of the Interim Secretariat of the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
He was delivering a lecture on “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE): The Global Experience” in the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) auditorium.
“The challenge is to translate domestic concern into transnational actions. What's happening here must have international implications,” Koser added.
He also said the organisation has taken up pilot projects in Bangladesh, Mali, Morocco and Nigeria where local government and non-government organisations will benefit.
The GCERF is a not-for-profit Swiss foundation to support local community-level initiatives aimed at strengthening resilience against violent extremist agendas.
Expressing his concern, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque said, “Two phenomena can wipe out whatever development we have made in Bangladesh--one is climate change and the other is radicalism.”
Shahidul emphasised some remedies including reduction of inequality, mitigation of deprivation, inclusion of excluded people and acceleration of human development.
Unemployed youths are the main targets of militant organisations, said the speakers, laying stress on support systems for vulnerable groups as well as rehabilitation, socioeconomic development, fairness and equality.
In Bangladesh's perspectives, the speakers observed that poverty and hunger were no longer the root causes of radicalism and terrorism, it was community leaders not playing their proper roles.
So emphasis must be put on the community-based approach in eradicating the global concern, they said.
Senior civil and military officials including current and former ambassadors, members of the academia, representatives of think-tanks, scholars, policymakers and media personalities participated in the open discussion.
BIISS Director General Maj Gen AKM Abdur Rahman, Bangladesh Enterprise Institute Vice President Humayun Kabir, and Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies Executive Director Maj Gen (retd) Abdur Rashid also spoke with BIISS Board of Governors Chairman Munshi Faiz Ahmad in the chair.