The United Arab Emirates has highlighted its commitment to combatting violent extremism. “Violent extremism is a global reality that is not confined to any one region nor representative of any religion. Radical doctrines, such as those propagated by Daesh, are an insult to Islam and in opposition to the universal tenets of Islam and of U.A.E. society, such as religious tolerance and the active participation of women in society,” said Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to the UN, while moderating a panel on “The Role of Women in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)”.

The panel discussion was the first part of a Panel Series on Women, Peace and Security, hosted by the U.A.E. in partnership with UN Women as the Secretariat of the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution No. 1325 for the year 2000.

The panel discussion drew out the linkages between women, peace and the security agenda, and strategies to engage women as leaders in efforts to counter violent extremism, saying that women must be viewed as equal partners and a resource in CVE efforts.

Ambassador Nusseibeh said, “Now, more than ever, the international community needs to rethink how CVE strategies are developed on a local, national, and international level to integrate a gender perspective, and to increase the participation of women in the development and implementation of these strategies.” The panel brought together internationally recognised experts on the topic, including Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director for the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, GIWPS, and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, Radhika Coomaraswamy, Lead Author of the Global Study on the Implementation of Security Council Resolution No. 1325 (2000), Muhammad Rafiuddin Shah, Officer-in-Charge of the U.N. Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force, Carolin Schlecker, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Head of Research and Analysis at the Global Center on Cooperative Security, Suaad Allami, Founder and Director of the Sadr City Women’s Centre and Legal Clinic in Iraq, and Joy Onyesoh, President and Founder of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Nigeria.

After underlining the U.A.E.’s commitment to combatting violent extremism, Ambassador Nusseibeh added, “Women are positioned to be effective partners in CVE efforts as bulwarks against intolerance and extremism, as agents of positive change in their families, communities, and public spaces in order to prevent radicalisation from leading to violent extremism and acts of terrorism.” Ambassador Nusseibeh also highlighted the new, non-traditional forms of communication, such as social media, that extremists are using for recruitment purposes. She said, “The U.A.E. believes it’s both important and timely to have a conversation on what is and what is not appropriate use of social media.” Ambassador Verveer saluted the U.A.E. for taking a leadership role in this field. “[The] Hedayah [Centre] is such a resource – a vibrant centre doing cutting edge research that includes the perspectives of women.” The series of Panels sponsored by the U.A.E. will substantively contribute to the Global Study to review the progress and challenges of Resolution No. 1325 on women, peace, and security. Each panel will result in a summary, written in partnership with the GIWPS, reflecting the discussions. These summaries will inform the Global Study, and will be available on the UN Women web portal. The U.A.E. has also contributed financially to the study.

Future panel discussions will highlight the gendered impacts of new technologies of warfare, women in security sector reform, and the importance of economic empowerment in post-conflict situations.