UNICRI, UNOCT and ICSS organise first National Focal Points Regional Forum for Africa

UNICRI, UNOCT and ICSS organise first National Focal Points Regional Forum for Africa

Gulf Times

The International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) and its partners, the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), along with representatives of Senegal, joined forces to host the first National Focal Points (NFPs) Regional Forum for Africa.

The event, which took place in Dakar on November 30 and December 1, was aimed at being a reference event in Africa to engage high-level policymakers, stakeholders and youth in terms of major sporting events (MSEs) and to build resilience to violent extremism.

The forum was organised within the framework of the multi-year Global Programme on the Security Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and Its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism (Global Sports Programme), an initiative supported by Qatar, China and South Korea as donors.

The Global Programme is aimed at strengthening the protection of MSE through enhanced international co-operation and sustainable security approaches while promoting the values of sport as a powerful means to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism.

During the two-day event, partners introduced the Global Sports Programme and the Global Guide on the Security of Major Sporting Events: Promoting Sustainable Security & Legacies produced by the Global Programme.

The forum was an opportunity to overview Global Sports Programme’s security outputs and national perspectives on sport for preventing violent extremism.

It also provided an e-training and practical group exercise to help participants understand in greater depth how to identify challenges on major sport events safety and security and prevention of extremism using the values of sport as elaborated by the Global Sports Programme, paving the way for future integrated workshops and training for African countries.

“This forum, which kicks start a new partnership with African countries, offers a unique opportunity in supporting them to build national capacities in terms of sport security and the use of sport to prevent violent extremism,” said ICSS Sport Public Policy director Diogo Guia. “The Global Programme is gaining pace as more and more to provide assistance in this field to many countries such as Cameroun, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Maldives.”

"We reaffirm our strong commitment to continuing to provide technical assistance and enhance policy co-ordination and practical co-operation towards making instruments of security of major sporting events and the use of sport to combat extremism more inclusive,” he said.