South African Cities Join UN’s Stronger Cities Network to Counter Violent Extremism

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South African cities are increasingly interested in joining the United Nations’ Stronger Cities Network (SCN) to counter violent extremism, hate, polarization, and extremism. The SCN fosters a collaborative and integrated approach to addressing these issues. Discussions about joining forces with other network members were held in Cape Town and Johannesburg, with a total of 34 cities from 10 countries participating.

Strategies to Counter Violent Extremism

The goal of the SCN is to develop effective strategies for countering violent extremism (CVE), promoting trust, cohesion, and coordination among stakeholders. It held an event in Ethiopia in February where representatives from 35 African countries shared ideas and experiences in developing policies and programs to establish early warning systems and realistic frameworks for CVE.

City’s Framework on Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism

The enthusiasm at these events has inspired the City of Cape Town’s Safety and Security Directorate to finalize its draft framework on countering and preventing violent extremism. Highlights of the City’s framework include communication campaigns to counteract threats of violent extremism, youth-directed interventions, utilizing community partnerships, supporting joint policing efforts through the establishment of the Safer City Nerve Centre, and ongoing research and development.

Importance of City-to-City Learning

The directorate’s portfolio chairperson, Councillor Mzwakhe Nqavashe, emphasized the importance of city-to-city learning to prevent hate and extremism. The SCN will continue to support practice exchange and collaboration to address crime and threat displacement across municipalities. The network will also facilitate dialogues between cities and the national government to improve cooperation on prevention.

Benefits of Joining the SCN

By joining the SCN, South African cities can benefit from global perspectives, practices, and insights. The network provides a platform for local governments to share their experiences and perspectives with the international community. In September 2023, the SCN will host a Global Summit in New York City where the voices of South African mayors and local governments will be heard on a global stage.

Commitment to Countering and Preventing Violent Extremism

The growing partnership between South African cities and the SCN demonstrates their commitment to countering and preventing violent extremism in their communities. Through collaboration, learning, and mutual support, cities can effectively address the challenges posed by extremism and create safer, more inclusive communities. International cooperation is a powerful tool in the fight against hate and extremism.

A Russian-Spanish journalist and Cape Town native, channels his lifelong passion for South Africa into captivating stories for his local blog. With a diverse background and 50 years of rich experiences, Serjio's unique voice resonates with readers seeking to explore Cape Town's vibrant culture. His love for the city shines through in every piece, making Serjio the go-to source for the latest in South African adventures.

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