27 Apr 2023


ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan

On 4 April, the UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy (PDA) held an online session on the topic "The role of youth in preventing violent extremism that leads to terrorism" together with the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT) in Ashgabat. This event was organized for youth representatives from five countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan. During the session, the participants received updated information regarding the terminology of terrorism in the Central Asian states, on the influence of radical religious sects in Central Asia, and were acquainted with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (UN GCTS). PDA students also learned about the UNOCT and UNRCCA initiatives to implement this UN Global Strategy in Central Asia, as well as about respective UN Security Council resolutions related to the fight against terrorism: 1371 (2001), 1540 (2004), 1566 (2004), 2396 (2017), 2427 (2018). The participants also learned about the role of youth in the Joint Plan of Actions for the implementation of the UN GCTS, National Counter-Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism Strategies in the region. In the final part of the session, the representative of the STRIVE Asia project introduced the students of the Academy to the history of UNOCT, its mandate and areas of work, and the geography of activities, inviting participants to also take an online course "Introduction to Human Rights and Combating Terrorism in Central Asia", developed by UNOCT, UNRCCA, UNITAR, OHCHR and UNICEF.

On 11 April, the UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Center in Ashgabat conducted a hybrid training for young people from Central Asia and Afghanistan. The guest speaker, Ambassador John S. McGregor, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, shared his views on UN-OSCE cooperation on the Youth, Peace and Security agenda. In his speech, he outlined the structure, goals and mission of the OSCE in Central Asia and globally.

On April 18, 2023, UNRCCA PDA held an introductory session on international humanitarian law (IHL) prepared by a guest expert - PDA 2019 Alumni Network member. Particularly, He introduced the fundamental principles and rules governing armed conflicts. He also presented an overview of the legal framework governing the conduct of hostilities and the protection of the civilian population, prisoners of war and other non-combatants. In addition, the PDA youth group work was focused on the role of volunteers in the protection of civilians during armed conflict, determining the status of a volunteer in armed conflict, advocating for the protection of civilians in armed conflict, defining the role of SDG 16 in an armed conflict zone, and discussing the concept of protection in connection with international humanitarian law.

On 20 April, PDA held an online session for the alumni regional network. As a result, the participants had an opportunity to deepen their knowledge gained earlier during their studies at the Academy of Preventive Diplomacy training course, which provided necessary skills for conducting training in a capacity of a trainer on "UN, Peace and Security". In addition, students were acquainted with the principles of managing group dynamics and learning methods of the Kolb cycle.

On 25 April, during an online seminar, Preventive Diplomacy Academy participants learned more about the history, mission and work of the United Nations Volunteers Program (UNV). In particular, the UNV staff shared the latest statistics and information on the work of the UNV Program in the European and Central Asian regions and also gave an overview of the opportunities for applying for work by various categories of volunteers. In addition, a former UN Volunteer in the region shared her experience and learning opportunities while working at UNRCCA. The presentation of the UNV program was followed by dynamic and informative discussions on volunteering and employment opportunities at UNV and in the UN in general.