Sarajevo, March 3, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Mladen Dragojlovic
In the last two days about 70 representatives of government, judiciary, law enforcement agencies, civil society, media, education sector, health sector, religious institutions, and local communities in BiH had the opportunity to, through the simulation of different scenarios, recognize the importance of early identification and prevention of violent extremism.
The seminar was held on mount Jahorina and was organized by the OSCE Mission to BiH, in co-operation with the BiH Ministry of Security and supported by the United States Government.
“Violent extremism is not a new phenomenon in the world, but it is constantly evolving. We must then be open to all possible approaches at all levels of government and society. We hope this exercise will help in establishing new strategies and practices in bridging the gap between theories and results”, said Ambassador Jonathan Moore, Head of the OSCE Mission to BiH.
Foreign Affairs Officer of the U.S. Department of State, Richard Prosen, said that countering violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighters’ threats in a sustainable way remains a difficult and urgent challenge, but not an insurmountable one.
“Together, we will achieve success if we stand united and act with impact to confront this generational challenge”, Prosen emphasised.
After this event OSCE Mission announced that the concepts that were discussed at this exercise will contribute to the definition of further priorities of all stakeholders in supporting BiH’s efforts to address the challenges.
BiH Assistant Minister of Security, Vjekoslav Vukovic, noted how the country has developed a strategy which aims to combat all forms of violent extremism and terrorism, while at the same time respecting core values of democracy, rule of law and human rights and freedoms.
“Exercises like this one show that co-ordination between all levels of government, law enforcement agencies, local communities, representatives of social society and religious institutions can achieve results in combating violent extremism”, he said.
In the announcement it was explained that the tabletop exercise is organized as part of the OSCE Mission’s effort to help enhance dialogue in opposing violent extremism in BiH. This project contributes to the OSCE’s wider campaign named “United in Countering Violent Extremism”, which highlights the Organization’s comprehensive approach to preventing violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism.