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Statement of Sarah Poole
Deputy Director,
Regional Bureau for Arab States

Measures of Prevention:Improving the Impact of Prevention of Violent Extremism programming – New tools
UNHQ, New York

Check against Delivery

Good morning Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Colleagues,

I join Assistant Secretary-General Mar Dieye in thanking Ambassador Bahous of the Mission of Jordan, and Ambassador Hattrem of the Mission of Norway for co-hosting the event.

As we have seen too often, no country, city, or community is immune to the impacts of violent extremism. And as we have just heard, there is an important linkage between development approachesto preventing violent extremism and the 2030 Agenda.

Today I would like to briefly complement UNDP’s global efforts with a perspective from the Arab States region, where we are responding to requestsfrom many host governments to provide support in developing PVE specific programming through a sustainable development approach, in close consultation with UN partners.   

In addressing national development priorities, thus far our work in the region has comprised of a range of approaches in partnership with government: 

• Capacity development of national actors and support for development of national PVE strategies, 

• Engagement with religious leaders, 

• Support for livelihoods and civic engagement with women and youth,

• Prevention in prisons, 

• and research and outreach with development partners.  

As we have heard from Ambassador Bahous, the concept and research for this toolkit has originated from the Arab States region, with the close support of the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre. That said, we are delighted that the toolkit has expanded to a global reach: not only as a means to strengthen the quality and impact of PVE related programming, but also to connect and generate knowledge and learning about what works in different contexts and regions, and improving the impact of our work.

Her Excellency Ambassador Bahous and Assistant Secretary General Mar Dieye have already provided an overview of the toolkit, and we will soon have a more detailed presentation.  I would therefore like to contribute just a brief set of recommendations, drawing from experience in the Arab States region, namely:

• first and foremost: programmes aiming to prevent violent extremism need to be nationally owned, and grounded in the context in which they are implemented;

• crucially, they must be conflict-sensitive; 

• they must equally be evidenced-based and supported by a robust yet realistic monitoring framework. 

And finally: they must be gender sensitive.  For effective PVE programming, it is essential to understand gendered push and pull factors for joining or not joining armed groups, as well as investigating the role of gender in creating various pressures and vulnerabilities. 

In conclusion, I join Assistant Secretary General Mar Dieye in emphasizing that as UNDP, we are committed to strengthening the capacity and focus on effective monitoring and evaluation processes in our projects, to ensure that programmes can be adjusted as needed, and that they effectively respond to national priorities.  

We look forward to discussing this toolkit with you today, and to hearing your valuable insights. We hope that this instrument will contribute to an effective sustainable development approach to PVE programming. 

Thank you.

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