Second roundtable of the 2022 UNOCT-Civil Society Roundtable Series

The second roundtable of the 2022 UNOCT-Civil Society Roundtable Series was held virtually on 30 June 2022 in New York. It was dedicated to “Youth Engagement, Empowerment & Protection in Counter-Terrorism and PCVE Efforts” 

The 2022 Civil Society Roundtable Series seeks to foster engagement with senior-level UNOCT officials as well as UNOCT programme managers to inform the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of UNOCT global programmes. A number of CSOs with relevant expertise were invited to participate in this strategic and action-oriented closed discussion.

The Roundtable gathered 41 civil society representatives from around the world with expertise in youth-oriented counter-terrorism and PCVE initiatives including gender equality and the rights of women and girls. Youth leaders exchanged personal experiences throughout the event.

The objective of the meeting was to give voice to young people, incorporate their insights into the Office’s programmes and initiatives and define how UNOCT can best support, empower, and protect youth in line with UNOCT’s Civil Society Engagement Strategy, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and its review resolutions, and the UN Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, and the UN Guidance Note on the Promotion and Protection of Civic Space.

The event was led and moderated by Mr. Raffi Gregorian, Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General and Director in UNOCT. Mr. Gregorian opened the event by providing an update to attendees on UNOCT priorities and upcoming activities. “At UNOCT, we are keen to increase the involvement of youth at all levels in the design, development, implementation of programmes and projects to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism. This is why we are delighted to welcome youth voices with us in today’s discussion,” he said.

UNOCT programme managers gave a brief overview of UNCCT’s “Youth Engagement and Empowerment Programme”, including insights on how the “Peer-to-Peer” (‘P2P’) model can empower young leaders and be useful for CSOs. They also presented the “Global Programme on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism”. They shared insights on how to ensure gender responsiveness, disability sensitivity, and the involvement of minority groups in sports for PVE initiatives. 

The series of round tables is part of UNOCT’s efforts to pursue systematic, coherent, and structured engagement with civil society, including youth and youth-led organizations.