In pursuance to the objectives of the National Counter Extremism Policy, NACTA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding here today at Islamabad on 24th November, 2017. The said MoU is signed to cooperate on outreach and development in order to enhance the resilience, empowerment and citizenship engagement of Pakistan’s youth – An integral component of the National Counter Extremism Policy Pakistan to engagement of youth to counter violent extremism and empowering them to be peace agents in society.
The MoU was signed by the NACTA National Coordinator, Ihsan Ghani, and UNDP Pakistan Country Director, Ignacio Artaza. The signing ceremony was attended by Ms. Marryam Khan Director General CVE and Ms. Nida Anum Director PI.
Under its new National Counter-Extremism Policy, NACTA will be supported by UNDP through a Youth Internship Initiative. These initiatives will create opportunities for Pakistani youth to gain experience in the public policy sector, understand how policy development occurs, and promote collaboration and cooperation between the State and its citizens. National Coordinator NACTA informed that “academics remained an integral part of the formulation of NCEP”. He further said that NACTA is already engaged with “HEC and academic institutions for engaging and enlisting views of students and faculty regarding ways to build a more peaceful and tolerant environment around us”. The Director General CVE, Ms. Marryam Khan stated that “the policy envisions a whole of government and society response to resolve problems relating to extremism and terrorism”.
“Young people have a crucial role to play in meaningful public policy, social cohesion and sustainable development,” said Mr Artaza, UNDP Pakistan Country Director. “This enhanced collaboration with NACTA will help create the conditions for Pakistan’s youth to contribute to building a peaceful and prosperous society.”
With around 60% percent of its young population, Pakistan has the opportunity to build on the potential of this large youth population through education, economic empowerment and engagement to achieve sustainable development and prevent violence and conflict. UNDP’s support to NACTA is part of its long-running Youth Empowerment Programme which increases Pakistani youth’s resilience, civic engagement, entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, in collaboration with federal and provincial governments, development partners and the private sector.