KUALA LUMPUR, 7 December 2017 – Secretary General of ASEAN Le Luong Minh stressed the crucial role of women in preventing the rise and spread of violent extremism at the ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue on “Women, Peace and Security – The Role of Women in the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE)” in a two-day dialogue held on 6-7 December in Kuala Lumpur.

The dialogue seeks to build on recent PVE initiatives in the ASEAN region, including exploring the role of women in preventing violent extremism and to ensure that PVE policies and initiatives are gender sensitive. It also aims to provide recommendations on the role of women to develop an ASEAN Regional Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism as well as to identify concrete collaborative activities between ASEAN and the UN.

Besides underscoring the critical role of women, Secretary-General Minh in his opening address also reiterated the need to develop a culture of prevention in ASEAN including the promotion of value-based education as a means of instilling respect for life and diversity as well as values of tolerance, non-violence and mutual understanding.

Noting that violent extremism has grown to be multifaceted and has infiltrated different sectors of society, Secretary-General Minh also encouraged closer dialogue with civil society, academic and other institutions to foster greater understanding and support aimed at suppressing terrorism and violent extremism.

The ASEAN-UN Regional Dialogue follows the recent adoption of the Manila Declaration to Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime in September as well as the Joint Statement on Promoting Women, Peace and Security in ASEAN and the ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention for a Peaceful, Inclusive, Resilient, Healthy and Harmonious Society by the Leaders at the 31st ASEAN Summit last month.

The dialogue was co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia, UN and the Institute for Strategic and International Studies, Malaysia.  It was attended by senior government officials from ASEAN Member States, ASEAN Secretariat, UN, as well as experts from ASEAN research institutes and the civil society.