Preventing violent extremism is a joint effort of all stakeholders in KosovoOct 26, 2017
The Italian Embassy in Kosovo hosted a conference on the referral mechanism pilot project in Gjilane/Gijlane to address the challenges and lessons learned in the field of preventing radicalization and extremism. This referral mechanism includes the partnership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA) and the Italian Embassy in Kosovo.
Mr. Selami Shkodra the Minister of Internal Affairs, Mr. Andrew Russell the UNDP Resident Representative of Kosovo, Mr. Piero Cristoforo Sardi the Ambassador of Italy in Kosovo and Mr. Luigi Brusa the Head of Cooperation of the EU Office in Kosovo reflected on the issues of extremism and terrorism in their speeches.
Mr. Selami Shkodra stated that "Kosovo, as many other countries, is facing a common enemy known as terrorism and extremism" and explained that the Kosovo Government will put all its efforts into combating terrorism. The importance of prevention and detection of radicalization as well as the need to engage with the underlying causes to the problem were addressed.
Mr. Andrew Russell mentioned that "there is a lot of fear around this increasingly diverse world we live in and that leads to feelings of exclusion ad frustration. So for us at UNDP it's really about the governance. How do we help governments and civil society come together and really help them manage the increasingly diverse world we live in." Andrew Russell highlighted that extremism and radicalization is a complex global problem that cannot be dealt with alone. He further emphasized that " we really try to avoid stigmatization of the youth. The youth of Kosovo is not the problem, they are the solution, they are partners in this fight."
In relation to what can be done on issues of extremism and terrorism, Mr. Luigi Brusa further added that "nowadays the protection from threats related to violent extremism does not necessary require an influx of government and rule of law institution spending. Alternatives can be as simple and inexpensive as modifying policy and to inspire change at grassroots levels."
This event contributed to raising awareness on the important topic of preventing violent extremism.