Senior government officials from ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretariat, experts from ASEAN research institutes and civil society, and senior officials from the United Nations have come together in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the role of women in the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) in the ASEAN region. The workshop seeks to build on recent PVE initiatives in the ASEAN region, including exploring the role of women in preventing violent extremism and how to ensure that PVE policy is gender sensitive.
The ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue on "Women, Peace and Security - The Role of Women in the Prevention of Violent Extremism" is co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, the United Nations and the Institute for Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia.
The event was officially opened by H.E. Dato' Seri Ramlan Ibrahim, Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia; H.E. Le Luong Minh, ASEAN Secretary-General; Mr. Miroslav Jen?a, United Nations Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs; H.E. Rezlan Jenie, Executive Director, Asean Institute for Peace and Reconciliation; and Ms Miwa Kato, UN Women Asia Pacific Regional Director.
Recalling Malaysia's commitment to tackling violent extremism, Dato' Seri Ramlan Ibrahim, Secretary-General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reiterated Malaysia's emphasis on effective preventive measures. Relevant initiatives undertaken by Malaysia include promoting the values of moderation, implementing deradicalisation and rehabilitation programs, and strengthening the role of women in various fora and platforms. He also stressed the need to 'provide women with adequate avenues for leadership roles and engagement within the community with the aim of tackling the root causes of violent extremism'.
The ASEAN Secretary General reiterated the need to develop a culture of prevention in ASEAN. According to the Secretary-General, 'Prevention has to start with information. The effective way to disseminate information to prevent violence is through education. To do this, we need to promote value-based education as a means of instilling respect for life, for diversity and the values of tolerance, non-violence and mutual understanding.'
Recalling the UN Secretary-General's commitment to making conflict prevention the priority of the work of the United Nations, Assistant Secretary-General Jen?a noted: 'understanding the roles women play in relation to violent extremism and providing avenues for women to influence regional policies to prevent and counter this phenomenon will enhance the effectiveness of ASEAN's efforts to tackle the drivers of violent extremism'. He reiterated that the United Nations remained committed to assisting ASEAN's efforts to prevent violent extremism.
The AIPR Executive Director highlighted that given the multifaceted nature and multifactor of its causes, there is a need to underscore the importance of a comprehensive approach to addressing violent extremism. He further reiterated that such an approach, of course, includes the involvement of all stakeholders, which in addition to women should also involve youth, religious groups, and civil society in general. He further commented that the workshop is an opportunity to gather suggestions to inform the future work of the AIPR.
Noting the adoption of the ASEAN Manila Declaration and the agreement to develop an ASEAN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, as well as the Joint Statement on Women, Peace and Security at the Summit last month, UN Women Asia and the Pacific Regional Director Miwa Kato said: The time to seriously invest in women as a resource for peace is now, and ASEAN is uniquely positioned to become a regional and global leader on advancing the role of women in preventing violent extremism."
AURED IV is the latest in an annual series of ASEAN-UN regional workshops on political-security cooperation, since the ASEAN-UN Comprehensive Partnership was adopted by the Leaders of ASEAN and the United Nations Secretary-General in November 2011.
The ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue will be held over 6-7 December 2017 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia