HLPF Side Event: Advancing Partnerships to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism

12 July 2022

On Tuesday, July 12, from 8:00-10:00 AM EDT, the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers’ Inclusivity-based Community of Practice will host an event on, ‘’Advancing Partnerships to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism,” as part of the United Nations High Level Political Forum.’’

The UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the core UN platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Forum meets annually under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment. The theme for HLPF 2022 is, “Building Back Better from the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), While Advancing the Full Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The Forum will review in-depth SDGs 4 (quality education), 5 (gender equality), 14 (life below water), 15 (life on land), and 17 (partnerships). 

The 2030 Agenda and its SDGs can only be achieved through a “whole of society approach”; hence, Goal 17 which aims to strengthen the means of implementation through global partnership for sustainable development, including the promotion of effective, public-private and civil society partnerships, is reviewed annually. Partnerships are essential in advancing just and equitable peace and this side-event will build upon the importance of advancing partnerships for peace through showcasing best practices and lessons learned around partnerships working to prevent and counter violent extremism.

This Inclusivity-based Community of Practice meeting, which meets quarterly, is organized by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. The Network emphasizes the importance of preventative action, including helping religious and traditional actors to play a positive role in preventing violence, including violence that leads to mass atrocities and violent extremism. This event will showcase partnerships across multilateral institutions, government, and civil society, including religious and traditional actors, on how they are working together to prevent and counter violent extremism. This will include highlighting joint initiatives, projects and tools.

Please join us for our event by registering here.


Arizza Nocum

Co-Founder and President, KRIS

Arizza is the Co-Founder and President of KRIS, a non-profit organization that utilizes education as a pathway to peace in the Philippines. KRIS has built libraries and provided scholarships for young people victimized by conflict and poverty. Arizza is also one of ten young leaders hand-picked by the former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to eradicate violent extremism through the Extremely Together initiative. Extremely Together has produced an online counter-extremism toolkit to help educators, religious leaders, and community champions in promoting the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) and regularly brings together young people for the same cause.

Fatima Akilu

Executive Director, Neem Foundation

Dr. Fatima Akilu is the Executive Director of Neem Foundation. She also heads the Psychosocial Services Component of the foundation. She is a trained psychologist with over 20 years of experience in the field of mental health and psychology. She has taught and authored research papers relating to homelessness, ethnicity, and its relationship with mental health. Dr. Akilu holds a Masters’s Degree and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Reading (UK) and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of General Psychology at Broome Community College (USA) for over 12 years. Dr. Akilu has garnered experience as the Chairman of the Editorial Board of a leading Nigerian national newspaper and the Head of Communication to the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Nigerian President on Millennium Development Goals.

Keneshbek Sainazarov

Country Director, Search for Common Ground, Kyrgyzstan

Mr. Keneshbek B. Sainazarov has been serving as Search for Common Ground’s Country Director for Kyrgyzstan since 2013 and the Central Asia Programs Director since 2015. In his role, Kenesh manages the Search programming related to conflict-sensitive journalism, promoting freedom of religion, alternative narratives to recruitment, youth and women empowerment, preventing radicalization leading to violent extremism, and Track II diplomacy portfolio in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). Before joining Search, Mr. Sainazarov directed the implementation of large-scale programs in the area of governance, democracy, youth empowerment, education policy, elections, voter education, disaster risk reduction, and conflict mitigation with United Nations, USAID-funded organizations in Central Asia, and the Caucasus.

Rosalie Fransen

Senior Program Officer, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)

Rosalie Fransen is a Senior Program Officer with the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN). She leads the Gender and Extremisms program, which seeks to transform the policy and practice of preventing violent extremism (PVE) through gender analysis, technical support, training, and advocacy that advances the pioneering work and expertise of women peacebuilders. In addition to her work with ICAN, Rosalie is an Adjunct Professor with the New York University Center for Global Affairs. She has previously held positions with the United Nations Population Fund, the United Nations Development Program, and Search for Common Ground. She earned her MSc. in Global Affairs from New York University and holds a B.S. from Boston University.

Sofia Anton

Program Manager, Building Peace & Trust and Promoting Youth Leadership Kofi Annan Foundation

Sofia is Programme Manager of the Building Peace & Trust and Promoting Youth Leadership programs at the Kofi Annan Foundation. She works on the reconstruction of conflict-affected societies and addresses violent extremism with the youth-led Extremely Together initiative to prevent radicalization across communities. For the past two years, she has led Extremely Together’s expanding work in South and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining the Foundation, Sofia served at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, the Embassy of Finland in Mexico and the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM) focusing on youth, conflict and education. Sofia holds an MSc in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam and she has completed specialized training on Peace Education and Human Rights at Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico.

Amanda Kutch

Program Associate, Youth, Peace and Trust Program, Kofi Annan Foundation

Amanda is a Program Associate for the Youth, Peace, and Trust Program at the Kofi Annan Foundation. She works on issues related to youth leadership, building trust, and transitions to peace. She is the lead author of the Foundation’s most recent publication, the “Building Peace Together” guide on promoting youth-led action to prevent violent extremism in South and Southeast Asia. Prior to this, Amanda worked for a capacity-building organization on child development and rights-based advocacy in East Africa, and more recently, as a consultant in peace training research for various projects.

Tushar Baidya

Project Director, Inclusive Bangladesh

Tushar is an educator, peacemaker, and human rights activist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is currently the project director of Inclusive Bangladesh, a youth-led community organization, and runs various projects for the promotion of human rights, interfaith dialogue, and peace-building. He is equally involved in the promotion of women’s empowerment in peacebuilding processes. Tushar is a fellow of the Commonwealth, KAICIID, Peacemakers Network, Swedish Institute and ISHR.