It is highly commendable that Qatar has made great strides in supporting global efforts to identify solutions to the challenge of combating extremism and terrorism. Michele Coninsx, executive director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate at the UN, lauded Qatar last week on the sidelines of the first International Conference on Studying the Causes of Extremism. The focus of the event was on the motives of extremism and the causes of the phenomenon and ways to deal with it.
The fight against terrorism is closely linked to collective efforts at the global level, as Coninsx pointed out. At the conclusion of the two-day conference, organised by Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute, the participants agreed to launch an index for measuring extremism that leads to violence. Such an index is expected to make data on this phenomenon available to researchers and policymakers. The proposed global index of extremism is to use data collected from representative surveys to measure violent extremism in all countries and at different times. The event also recommended that member states should exchange research findings on regional and national trends on extremism and violent extremism, regularly.
Earlier this month, at a high-level international “Conference on Countering Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies”, in Minsk, Belarus, Qatar stressed the importance of concerted efforts by the international community in the field of combating terrorism. Major General Abdulaziz Abdullah al-Ansari, chairman, National Counter-Terrorism Committee, highlighted the significance of exerting efforts to prevent terrorists from accessing technology, and in enhancing collective action to prevent the movement of terrorists through the development of aviation systems and the exchange of databases.
The senior Qatari official pointed to the seriousness of developments related to terrorists’ use of social media and artificial intelligence, adding no society can fight that phenomenon today on its own, and no society is immune to it. He called for strengthening the frameworks of international co-operation and exchanging best practices, as well as identifying opportunities for exchanging expertise and resources among member states, while reviewing Qatar’s efforts in combating terrorism and supporting the communities affected by this dangerous scourge.
Major General al-Ansari, in his speech, affirmed Qatar’s support to the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism. The two-day conference brought together member states, the private sector, NGOs and civil society, in seeking to address today’s most pressing issues pertaining to technology and counter-terrorism, including online radicalisation, artificial intelligence, hacking, lethal autonomous weapons and the cross-border travel of foreign terrorists.
Recently, Under-Secretary-General of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office, Vladimir Ivanovich Voronkov, praised the support provided by Qatar to the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism.
He made the remarks at a meeting of the Committee on Peace and International Security to discuss a draft resolution on the inadmissibility of the use of mercenaries as means of undermining peace and violation of human rights, which was part of the 140th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
He also praised Qatar’s active contribution to efforts of preventing violent intolerance, pointing to the role played by sport in this regard. He said that Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and its efforts in the sports field will contribute to prevention of violent intolerance. In short, Qatar’s earnest efforts have been winning praise from across the world.
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