*First international conference on "studying the causes of extremism" concludes in Doha
*Violent extremism one of the most serious challenges facing the world today

The first international conference on "studying the causes of extremism" concluded Sunday in Doha, with participants agreeing to launch an index for measuring extremism that leads to violence.
Such an index is expected to make data on this phenomenon available to researchers and policy makers.
Organised by the Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI), the two-day conference witnessed the participation of several international experts, scientists, researchers and decision makers from 20 countries around the world, in addition to the participation of the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate at the Security Council.
A statement issued by the organisers said the participants agreed to take steps towards the development and implementation of a global index of extremism that uses data collected from representative surveys to measure violent extremism in all countries and at different times.
The statement included several recommendations, the most important of which is the need for member states to exchange research findings on regional and national trends on extremism and violent extremism, regularly.
Participants condemned all forms and manifestations of extremism, regardless of its motives, stressing that violent extremism is one of the most serious challenges facing the world today and poses a great danger to the lives of young people in particular.
They pointed out that violent extremism and terrorism are global challenges that are not limited to specific countries, ideologies or religions, stressing the importance of evidence-based policy and interventions in combating violent extremism.
The recommendations also emphasised the need for collaboration between researchers, academics and policy makers in disseminating knowledge and best practices related to violent extremism, concerning its drivers, risk factors, methods of monitoring and measurement within communities as well as the means to address it.
The recommendations noted the importance of the relevant Security Council resolutions, in particular the two resolutions, which required closer cooperation between the research community and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee , calling on member states to develop and implement risk assessment tools to identify individuals showing signs of violent extremism.
Participants cautioned that many member states face challenges in accurately assessing progress against violent extremism at the national and international levels, in part due to a lack of reliable data.
They stressed the need for further study of individual and social factors that serve as indicators of violent extremism, to better assess the effectiveness of existing strategies to combat extremism and to develop and implement better risk assessment tools and methodologies.
The recommendations also called for a gender-sensitive approach in line with United Nations Security Council resolution 2242 (2015) on the various roles women can play in efforts to prevent and combat violent extremism.
Director of SESRI Dr Hassan al-Sayed said the agreement to launch the index was an important achievement for the conference. SESRI is seeking to launch a survey-based index in many countries to measure the phenomenon of violent extremism, he added.
During the two-day conference, participants sought further exploration of variables at the individual and community levels, which could serve as indicators of the phenomenon of extremism, to fully assess the effectiveness of existing counter-radicalisation strategies and to develop and implement risk assessment tools and methodologies.
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