Role of parliamentarians in counter-terrorism is multifaceted, indispensable - Azerbaijani MP

  26 June 2024    Read: 722
 Role of parliamentarians in counter-terrorism is multifaceted, indispensable - Azerbaijani MP

The role of parliamentarians in counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism is multifaceted and indispensable, said Amina Aghazade, member of the Azerbaijani parliament (Milli Majlis), addressing the Global Conference of Women Parliamentarians, organized by the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in Doha, Qatar, reports.

Taking place from 26 to 27 June, the conference is exploring the role of women parliamentarians in the development, implementation, and oversight of counter-terrorism and prevention of violent extremism legislation, policies, and strategies.

"It is an honor to address you today on a matter of paramount importance to our global security and the well-being of our communities: the role of parliamentarians in counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism. In an age where the threat of terrorism transcends borders, cultures, and ideologies, it is essential that we, as parliamentarians, understand and embrace our critical role in addressing this challenge," she said, speaking on the theme "The role of parliamentarians in combating terrorism and preventing violent extremism".

Aghazade pointed out that terrorism and violent extremism are not just attacks on individuals or specific nations; they are assaults on the very principles of democracy, freedom, and human rights.

"As elected representatives of the people, we bear the responsibility to protect these principles and to ensure the safety and security of our citizens. First and foremost, our role involves the creation and enactment of robust legal frameworks. We must ensure that our laws provide clear definitions of terrorism and violent extremism, establish appropriate penalties, and enable effective prosecution while safeguarding human rights. It is essential that our legal measures are comprehensive yet flexible enough to adapt to the evolving nature of these threats," said the MP.

She went on to add that beyond legislation, parliamentarians play a crucial role in oversight and accountability.

"We must hold our governments accountable for their actions in counter-terrorism operations and ensure that these actions are conducted within the bounds of the law and respect for human rights. Through parliamentary committees and inquiries, we can scrutinize policies, programs, and expenditures related to counter-terrorism to ensure they are effective, transparent, and just.

Education and community engagement are also vital components of our role. We must advocate for and support programs that educate our youth about the dangers of radicalization and the importance of tolerance and inclusivity. By promoting dialogue and understanding among different communities, we can address the root causes of extremism and build resilient societies. Our engagement with civil society organizations, religious leaders, and community groups is essential in fostering a collaborative approach to prevention. Moreover, we must champion the use of technology and intelligence in counter-terrorism efforts," said Aghazade.

She believes that parliamentarians should encourage the development and use of advanced technologies for monitoring and combating terrorist activities while ensuring that these tools do not infringe on citizens' privacy and civil liberties.

"Balancing security and freedom is a delicate task, but it is one that we must strive to achieve. International cooperation is another critical aspect of our role. Terrorism is a global issue, and it requires a coordinated global response. We must work with our counterparts in other nations to share intelligence, best practices, and resources. Multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations, provide platforms for such cooperation, and as parliamentarians, we should actively support and participate in these initiatives. Lastly, we must be vigilant in addressing the social and economic conditions that often underlie violent extremism," she said.

The MP pointed out that poverty, lack of education, and social exclusion can create environments where extremist ideologies take root.

"By advocating for policies that promote social justice, economic development, and equal opportunities, we can address these underlying issues and reduce the appeal of extremist narratives. In conclusion, our role as parliamentarians in counter-terrorism and the prevention of violent extremism is multifaceted and indispensable. Through legislation, oversight, education, technology, international cooperation, and social advocacy, we can make a significant impact in safeguarding our nations and our world. Let us commit to working together, across party lines and national borders, to build a future where peace, security, and human dignity prevail over violence and terror," she concluded.

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