The Representative of State Security Service of Georgia Delivered a Speech at an OSCE-Organized National Seminar on a Whole-of-Society Approach to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism

A two-day national seminar on a whole-of-society approach to countering violent extremism and radicalization that lead to terrorism (VERLT), organized by the OSCE and the Government of Georgia, began on 13 June 2019 in Tbilisi. This is the first seminar of the kind organized by the OSCE in the country.

The seminar brings together more than 70 participants, including representatives of Georgian state agencies and civil society and experts from Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Ukraine, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, as well as the OSCE Secretariat’s Gender Section and Transnational Threat Department/Action against Terrorism Unit.

The participants will engage in a two-day discussion on the importance of community policing, civil society engagement and trust building between communities and authorities in tackling VERLT-related challenges efficiently. 

In her welcoming remarks the representative of the State Security Service of Georgia, Nana Beridze, stated that in the process of combating terrorism and extremism, the state pays special attention to the prevention-based measures.

“This requires a complex and multi-stakeholder approach, with active participation of law enforcement and other state agencies, educational institutions and organizations, private sector, civil society, religious and cultural organizations, in order to counter various manifestations of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization. The National Strategy of Georgia on the Fight Against Terrorism recently adopted by the Government of Georgia, is based on a whole-of-society approach which clearly outlines how the state, international partners, private sector and civil society should operate collectively in order to tackle the threats stemming from terrorist organizations, violent extremist groups and their supporters,” said Beridze.

The international and Georgian experts will share experiences and good practices in preventing and countering VERLT through inclusive collaboration between the police and local communities. Gender, youth and inter-religious work will be highlighted aiming to explore how Georgia can best involve all stakeholders to prevent and respond to violent extremism across the entire ideological spectrum.

The seminar is the result of ongoing contact between the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Transnational Threats Department of the OSCE. Georgian authorities voiced interest in an OSCE-supported seminar in connection with the newly drafted Counter-Terrorism Strategy in order to support the country’s government and civil society practitioners in effectively responding to VERLT-related threats in compliance with human rights and the rule of law.