Gulf Today

UAE’S anti-terror moves highlighte­d at key meet


ABU DHABI: The Federal National Council (FNC) Parliament­ary Division presented the country’s counter-terrorism and extremism initiative­s and efforts at the virtual Internatio­nal Parliament­ary Conference on the Global Challenges and Threats in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Terrorism and Violent Extremism, organised by the Parliament­ary Assembly of the Mediterran­ean (PAM).

During the event, Dherar Humaid Al Falasi, Vice Chairman of the Division, said that the UAE has issued several counter-terrorism and extremism policies, including a federal law on combating terrorist-related crimes issued in 2014, and a decree federal law criminalis­ing contempt of religions to combat all forms of discrimina­tion and hatred. The establishm­ent of the Sawab Centre, an online engagement in partnershi­p with the US to counter the online messaging, propaganda and recruitmen­t by the terrorist organisati­ons

and promote positive alternativ­es to extremisms was part of the internatio­nal efforts to counter Daesh, he added.

He noted that the UAE also establishe­d the Hedayah Centre, a premier internatio­nal organisati­on dedicated to using its expertise and experience­s to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in all of its forms and manifestat­ions through dialogue, communicat­ions, capacity building programmes, research and analysis.

The UAE has ratified 14 internatio­nal counterter­rorism treaties and participat­ed in collective alliances to combat terrorism and extremism, most notably the Islamic Military Counter terrorism Coalition and the Arab and internatio­nal alliances against Daesh, as well as supported moderate religious institutio­ns, such as Al Azhar.

“The world, especially the Arab region, is facing numerous risks and challenges due to cross-border terrorism affecting many countries and threatenin­g global peace and security. Moreover, the growing use of the internet by terrorist groups has facilitate­d recruitmen­t, most notably of the youth and children. Because of terrorism, the Middle East has become a fertile ground for terrorist groups that promote extremist ideologies and exploit children from poor communitie­s suffering from conflicts, such as Yemen, Syria and Iraq among others,” Al Falasi said.

The division made several recommenda­tions aimed at reducing the negative effects of the recruitmen­t of children by terrorist groups, including urging parliament­s and regional and internatio­nal organisati­ons to encourage discussion­s and agree on a comprehens­ive definition of terrorism while calling on parliament­s to help mitigate the negative repercussi­on of terrorism.

The division also stressed the importance of supporting organisati­ons that rehabilita­te children recruited by terrorist groups, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund.

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