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WEBINAR: The role of youth in interfaith dialogue and preventing and countering extremism

The Kofi Annan Foundation and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) held a joint event on youth’s role in inter-faith dialogue and preventing and countering extremism.

Over 70 participants from Central-Asia and Eastern-Europe participated in an interactive webinar on The Role of Youth in Inter-faith Dialogue in the Context of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalisation that Lead to Terrorism (VERLT) on February 22, 2021. The event was jointly organised by the OSCE and the Kofi Annan Foundation’s youth initiative ‘Extremely Together’, with support from the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Secretariat’s Adviser on Youth and Security.

This webinar is part of a series of interactive webinars launched by OSCE in December 2019 to increase OSCE’s ‘Leaders against Intolerance and Violent Extremism’ (LIVE) beneficiaries’ capacities. Through spearheading dialogue with experts from various geographical and cultural contexts, the interactive webinars connect LIVE beneficiaries to a broad network of practitioners and create a platform for sharing lessons learned.

In this event, LIVE beneficiaries joined experts from Extremely Together and the OSCE to discuss effective strategies for engaging youth, analyse challenges and receive recommendations for their activities.

The chosen experts are involved in advancing inter-faith dialogue to further foster social cohesion and prevent and counter VERLT in Nigeria, Uganda, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Once we recognize our biases we can take steps to create a more equal and accepting environment.”

Jonah Obajeun, Extremely Together leader from Nigeria and Hassan Ndugwa, Extremely Together leader from Uganda, took part in the event. Hassan emphasized how important it is for practitioners who want to facilitate interfaith dialogue to understand their own biases towards other religious and cultural groups: “Once we recognize our biases we can take steps to create a more equal and accepting environment.”

The webinar is part of the OSCE Leaders against Intolerance and Violent Extremism (LIVE) Initiative. This flagship training programme seeks to build capacity and promote context-specific efforts against violent extremism that have been developed and led by civil society at the grassroots level.

 

About OSCE 

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organisation. Its mandate includes arms control, human rights promotion, freedom of the press, and fair elections.

The OSCE’s LIVE Initiative consists of three different training courses tailored to youth, women and community leaders across the OSCE area. From 2018 to 2021, the Action against Terrorism Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department, in co-operation with the OSCE field operations, delivered a series of LIVE train-the-trainer seminars tailored for South-Eastern Europe and Central Asia, as well as supported OSCE field operations in their implementation of national LIVE training courses.

 

About Extremely Together

Extremely Together is a youth-led peace-building and networking initiative by the Kofi Annan Foundation. Extremely Together started with ten young leaders, chosen by Kofi Annan, thanks to their proven track-records to prevent and counter violent extremism. The Initiative has local chapters in Somalia, Uganda, Pakistan, the Philippines with more in development. Extremely Together brings young leaders from around the world together to learn from each other, build peace and prevent violent extremism – globally and in their communities.

 

Feature image: View of a religious tolerance themed graffiti piece by an unidentified artist on a city-centre building on Aug 31, 2009, in Bristol, UK. Bristol is known for its multiculturalism.1000 Words / Shutterstock.com