The Government of Switzerland hosted the initial planning meeting to develop the Global Fund for Community Engagement and Resilience, November 14–15. The Fund will mobilize public and private sector resources to support local, community-based efforts to counter violent extremism.
This two-day event, held in Lucerne, was facilitated by Carol Bellamy, the former Executive Director of UNICEF and former Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. Some 40 officials and experts from around the world met to begin discussions on the mandate, organizational architecture, and legal foundation of the Fund. Discussions are expected to continue over the coming months with a view to having the Fund become operational by mid-2014.
The Fund was announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a Global Counterterrorism Forum Ministerial meeting in New York on September 27. Once established, the Fund is expected to provide and monitor the implementation of grants to local, grass-roots organizations for community-based projects on education, vocational training, civic engagement, media, and women’s advocacy that target those individuals or groups most vulnerable to radicalization or recruitment by violent extremists.