Summary: At the launch of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) on September 22, 2011, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced its intention to establish the first-ever international center of excellence on countering violent extremism (CVE). With a target date for opening in the fall of 2012, this institution will serve as the premier international center for training, dialogue, collaboration, and research to counter violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations, thus fulfilling an essential requirement for long-term success of global counterterrorism efforts.
Background: Consistent with the vision of its 30 founding members, the GCTF is committed to building political support and mobilizing the expertise and resources required to address the full spectrum of critical counterterrorism challenges of the 21st century. There are few more pressing challenges than preventing individuals from starting down the path toward radicalization, the embrace of violence, and support for terrorism. This is underscored in the GCTF Political Declaration and will be a GCTF priority. It reflects a widely shared view that more needs to be done to deny recruits and supporters to international terrorist organizations. The International Center of Excellence on CVE will contribute to these efforts by:
1) Providing police, educators, religious and other community leaders, and other relevant government and non-government personnel with the necessary training and practical tools to design and implement effective programs and policies to counter violent extremism in all of its forms;
2) Providing a dedicated platform to facilitate dialogue among religious and community leaders, teachers and other educators as well as national and local actors involved in CVE; and
3) Conducting and commissioning research to gain a deeper understanding of the drivers of violent extremism, and which approaches are effective in countering it.
The CVE Center will build and leverage partnerships with the GCTF, other international and regional training centers and academies, the United Nations and other multilateral organizations, and relevant academic and research institutions.
Relationship with the GCTF: The Center will be hosted by the UAE, a GCTF member, with its training and courses both delivered by and open to a range of governments, regional and multilateral bodies, non-government and other civil society groups. GCTF members would work with the government of the UAE to develop and support the Center, including through such means as financial commitments and the provision of trainers, facilitators and researchers. GCTF members would play a role in shaping the Center’s mission, governing its operations, developing appropriate curricula, promoting the Center’s work, and raising the necessary funds to support it.