In recent years, the world has witnessed waves of violent extremism. Preventing it will take more than short-term security-oriented strategies. Efforts to counter violent extremism cannot succeed without young people’s involvement; young parliamentarians, as representatives closest to a country’s youth populations, have a crucial role to play.
The lack of economic opportunities and the marginalization of sections of society create conducive environments for violent extremism, factors that any long-term solution should take into account. Prevention strategies must include: strengthening respect for human rights and the rule of law; including women, youth and excluded groups in decision-making and prevention strategies; eliminating discrimination and inequality; and engaging those at the mid- and grassroots levels to address extremism and societal divisions.
A regional meeting to look at the role of young parliamentarians in advancing inclusive and peaceful societies and preventing violent extremism in Asia-Pacific will take place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 25 and 26 April. The Regional Meeting of Young Parliamentarians of the Asia-Pacific is being jointly organized by the IPU, the Parliament of Sri Lanka and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The meeting aims to empower young parliamentarians by building their capacities, offering them opportunities for networking and cooperation, and helping them plan action to prevent violent extremism. It will bring together young MPs, youth parliaments and organizations, specialists on preventing violent extremism (PVE), UN agencies, civil society and the private sector.
The meeting is open to young men and women members of national parliaments in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as IPU observers and selected youth organizations, networks and associations. The President of the IPU, the Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, and representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will join the deliberations of the young MPs. The deadline for registration is 5 April 2017; for further information and to register, go to the event website.