Governance and


Preventing violent extremism

In Europe and Central Asia, emerging forms of violent extremism threaten to reverse the development gains made over the past twenty years. Some countries have seen significant numbers of citizens being recruited by terrorist organizations such as ISIL and travel to join conflicts abroad. Those that have remained in their countries as sympathizers or returned from distant conflicts continue to pose significant risks to radicalize others and sow the seeds of division among communities.

The best means of preventing acts of violent extremism is to balance appropriate security responses with long-term development solutions.

UNDP helps establish ways to identify risks of radicalization and to prevent the conditions conducive to them. Traditional development solutions - such as local governance and area-based development, the engagement of vulnerable groups, and inter-religious community dialogues - play a significant role in preventing violent extremism.  UNDP’s strength in this area comes from its long-term development and local governance focus, and engagement with marginalized and key groups, particularly women, youth, religious leaders and minorities.

What we have accomplished

  • In Central Asia, we created a platform for exchange of knowledge, best practices and research on violent extremism among governments, international and regional experts, and civil society.
  • In Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, UNDP improves youth’s socio-economic participation to build resilience against violent extremism.
  • In Kyrgyzstan, UNDP leads PVE efforts targeting youth, women, prisons and corrections authorities, and works to support the government’s engagement together with UN partners.
  • In Kosovo*, UNDP helped assess the conditions leading to radicalization, informing the National Strategy on the Prevention of Violent Extremism. We also helped establish and empower a referral system to provide support to those vulnerable to extremism.

*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).


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