Strong Cities Network at UNGA17


As the SCN celebrated its two-year anniversary on the 29 September 2017, it was fitting to return to New York for the 72nd United National General Assembly to showcase achievements to date and continue to amplify the innate value of cities in the prevention of polarisation, hate, extremism and terrorism in all its forms to the international community.

The SCN was regularly noted as a unique mechanism in advancing the delivery of P/CVE sub-national approaches with high-level mentions by the Danish, Norwegian and Jordanian Foreign Ministers – all quoting the work of the SCN in paving the way for sustainable and local responses to the challenge of extremism. Additionally, the SCN featured at an array of global dialogues, including the US-Islamic World Forum, the Brookings Working Group on Refugees and Cities, and at the Ministerial Meeting on Reaffirming Commitment to Youth, Peace and Security Agenda co-chaired by the Jordanian and Norwegian Minsters of Foreign Affairs, with ISD providing formal remarks. ISD also provided formal remarks on at the Concordia Global Mayors Summit on Migration and Refugee Policy and Practice hosted by the City of New York.

In partnership with the Global Solutions Exchange (GSX) Event, the Strong Cities Network hosted the session ‘Engaging Cities, Local Authorities, and Grassroots Prevention Networks, bringing together representatives from West Africa, the Western Balkans, North America and the Middle East. Following a high level introduction to the event, the Danish Foreign Minister welcomed the SCN members to New York, and highlighted the successful Danish funded SCN programme operating across Lebanon and Jordan to establish Prevention Networks. The SCN panel featured a cross-regional SCN delegation with contributions made by Maye Seck Sy, the Urban Security Adviser to the Mayor in Dakar; Fitore Pacolli Dalipi, formerly of the Mayor’s Cabinet in Pristina, currently serving as an MP in the Kosovar Parliament; Chadi Nachabe, a member of the Municipality Council in Tripoli and President of the Tripoli Youth Council (Lebanon); Mohammad el-Zawahreh, the Head of Local Development Unit of Zarqa Muncipality in Jordan; and Ghayda Hassan, Director of the Canadian Practitioners’ Network on the Prevention of Radicalization and Extremism (CPN PREV). The delegates unanimously highlighted how top-down prevention strategies will not work and called  on national governments to better empower cities to contribute to P/CVE efforts, including by developing locally led multi-disciplinary prevention networks.

Lastly, the Norwegian Mission to the United Nations hosted the first closed door SCN donor coordination meeting convening the network’s three principal funders. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the future strategy of the network and to reassert the broad commitment to supporting the long-term sustainability of the network and its members.

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