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UNDP Tajikistan Engages in Open Dialogue on Preventing Extremism and Radicalization

UNDP’s project on the prevention of extremism, supported by Japan and Canada, recently organized an open dialogue involving prominent Tajik and international experts. The aim was to provide UNDP staff with deeper insights into the issues of radicalization and extremism. 

The informative and enlightening session was opened by Alexander Avanesov, UNDP expert and former UNDP Global Program Manager on Preventing Extremism, who arrived in Tajikistan with a mission aimed at assisting the government in the implementation of the National Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan on countering terrorism and extremism for 2021-2025 and focused on discussing with national counterparts issues related to the development of the new strategy for 2026-2030.

UNDP plays a significant role in this area – our support includes expertise, the establishment of PVE Advisory Groups, facilitation of the Secretariat’s activities to coordinate the national strategy, involvement of young women and men in these processes, organization of meetings, seminars, conferences, and activities to develop youth critical and analytical thinking skills, as well as media literacy.

Speaking about the implementation of the current strategy for countering extremism and terrorism, Avanesov noted that one of the ways how UNDP is helping to implement the strategy is to strengthen public awareness and community engagement by establishing Advisory Groups to prevent extremism and radicalization. This innovative work resulted from fruitful collaboration between the Prosecutor General’s Office, local administrations, civil society organizations, local activists, and a team of national experts.

Then Avanesov gave the floor to the national experts, each presenting on critical aspects of extremism and radicalization.

Khurshed Dodikhudoev, National Expert on Community Engagement in preventing violent extremism, discussed the role of community initiatives in preventing violent extremism and the importance of grassroots interventions in fostering resilience against radical ideologies and extremist narratives.

Another Tajik expert on radicalization and extremism in Tajikistan – Rustam Azizi provided an analysis of the current state of radicalization in Tajikistan, debunking common myths and presenting factual realities about the nature and scope of extremism in the country.

It was noted that extremism has nothing to do with religion and even unspiritual people can be involved in such actions due to strong psychological manipulation and many other factors.

In his turn, Makhrambek Makhrambekov, an Expert from the Center for Islamic Studies under the President of Tajikistan delved into how media portrayal of extremism and terrorism impacts public perception and the subsequent effects on society, emphasizing the need for responsible journalism.

Expert on gender aspects and perspectives in extremism Marifat Shokirova highlighted the unique challenges faced by women returning from conflict zones, discussing strategies for their rehabilitation and reintegration, and emphasizing gender and conflict-sensitive approaches in PVE.

Finally, Komron Khidoyatzoda talked about the operations of the Secretariat under the General Prosecutor’s Office in monitoring the implementation of the National Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan on countering terrorism and extremism for 2021-2025 within communities.

The session provided valuable information and underscored the importance of collective efforts in addressing the complex issue of extremism. It highlighted the vulnerability of individuals to extremist influences and the necessity of managing these influences on children and within families.

A key objective of the discussion was to raise awareness among UNDP staff about these harmful phenomena, ensuring that they and their families are well-informed and prepared to address these issues effectively.

Moving forward, UNDP Tajikistan is committed to organizing more events to enhance understanding and equip staff with the necessary tools to combat extremism and radicalization. UNDP Tajikistan remains dedicated to building a resilient and informed community that addresses these threats.

Source: UNDP Tajikistan