Saudi Arabia’s Etidal, UN Counter-Terrorism center sign MoU to increase collaboration

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Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNCCT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) last week to “strengthen cooperation in preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism,” according to a press release.

The MoU was signed by Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations for Counter-Terrorism and Executive Director of the UNCCT, Mansour al-Shammari. Secretary-General of Etidal.

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The Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi, was also in attendance in his capacity as Chairman of the Advisory Board of UNCCT.

The MoU signing “demonstrates the willingness of UNCCT and Etidal to join forces to support the efforts of the international community to address the scourge of terrorism and prevent the spread of extremist ideologies,” according to a press release by UNCCT.

“Today’s MoU with UNCCT reflects Saudi Arabia’s keen interest and its continuous commitment to combating terrorism,” Ambassador al-Mouallimi said.

The agreement will lead to the development of joint projects between Etidal and UNCCT, the release added.

The projects include capacity-building workshops in the field of strategic communications to prevent violent extremism, and countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, as well as campaigns to raise awareness on youth engagement, tolerance and support for victims of terrorism.

Etidal was established in 2017 in the Saudi capital Riyadh, under the patronage of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz, with the aim of working to confront the phenomenon of extremist ideology. It works to raise awareness and promote a culture of moderation, tolerance and coexistence, and to support international efforts to achieve this.

The MoU between UNCCT and Etidal “marks the start of our plan to develop a sustainable, practical partnership between our two organizations, leveraging our respective comparative advantages in technology, analysis and global capacity building,” Voronkov said.

For his part, al-Shammari said that Etidal is committed to supporting the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

“This is what we embody today in signing of the MoU as we seek for cooperation and partnership in a systematic, accurate and professional manner, using the center’s capabilities of ideological, media and digital assets in order to achieve the desired noble goals,” he added.

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