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National Consultation on Preventing Violent Extremism

A national consultation was held at the Grand Serail in Beirut and organized by the National Coordination Unit for Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE). Leadership for Sustainable Development – LSD took part in this consultation with experts from government ministries, representatives from specified syndicates and unions, the private sector, civil society organizations and academia, to brainstorm ideas, projects and policy proposals that can contribute to the development of Lebanon’s new national action plan that will be published towards the end of the year 2019.

The national consultations took place across nine workshops held throughout 2019, designed to engage a cross section of Lebanese society in the development of a national action plan to prevent the spread of extremist ideas. This national action plan addressed the wide range of economic and social conditions that allow extremism to breed including a lack of economic opportunities, perceptions of inequality and a lack of trust.

The Republic of Lebanon’s National Strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism was ratified in March 2018 following an extensive process of cross-government dialogue and engagement involving all twenty-nine government ministries.

The strategy defines extremism as, the spread of individual and collective hatred that may lead to social violence; and the rejection of diversity and non-acceptance of the other, and the use of violence as a means of expression and influence. In addition to a behavior that threatens societal values ensuring social stability.

In response, it puts the concept of Prevention at the heart of the approach – aiming to tackle the problem at source rather than responding to it once it’s too late. It proposes to take action across a range of different policy areas in order to address the underlying social and economic factors in Lebanese society that allow extremism to breed.

By addressing the underlying conditions in each area that provide the fertile ground for extremism to flourish, the strategy aims to make individuals, families and communities increasingly resilient to the lure of violent extremism, and to enhance the economic well-being of the country too especially on the Youth level.

After this workshop, the objectives were targeted and raised the youth awareness on PVE and building their capacity on community service, volunteerism and sports initiatives. In addition to improve the youth employability and entrepreneurial skills to prepare them for the labour market. Also, involving young people in decision and policy making at the national and local levels.