- November 27, 2020
- Posted in Latest news
The United Nations Counter-Terrorism Centre within the United Nations Office for Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT/UNCCT) and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) organized an online side event entitled “Central Asian experience with Individuals returned from Syria and Iraq: successes, challenges, and lessons learned” on the margins of the high-level segment of the 75th United Nations General Assembly.
Thousands of individuals are still stranded in camps in north-eastern Syria and Iraq in dire conditions, exacerbated by the COVID19 pandemic. The side event aims to highlight the Central Asian experience and the United Nations support available to Member States that have repatriated or are committed to repatriating their nationals from camps in northeastern Syria and Iraq.
The side event aimed to highlight the Central Asian experience and the United Nations support available to Member States that have repatriated or are committed to repatriating their nationals from camps in northeastern Syria and Iraq. An animated video “Returning home, rebuilding lives”, based on real stories from Central Asia, was presented at the event.
Following the screening of the video, a panel discussed successes, challenges, and lessons learned during repatriation of Central Asian nationals. Representatives of civil society and of United Nations entities that have worked to support Member States on returnees, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), also shared their views on successes, challenges and lessons learned. The Global Framework on United Nations Support to Member States on Individuals Returned from Syria and Iraq was presented as a way forward that responds to both the humanitarian and protection needs of children and adults and promotes security and accountability.
Mr. Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, highlighted that the humanitarian situation and protection needs of women and children with alleged links to terrorist groups stranded in camps in north-eastern Syria and Iraq is acute. “Secretary-General Guterres has underscored the urgency of an adequate international response. Member States in Central Asia were among the first countries to fulfil their responsibilities under international law by repatriating their citizens from conflict zones. They and a few other Member States have led by example. Their experiences are a source of valuable lessons for other countries that have already repatriated, or are committed to repatriating, their nationals, or have address individuals returned on their own” said Mr. Voronkov.
The Bulan Institute`s Director Cholpon Orozobekova participated in the event and made a statement about the role of civil society organizations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to rehabilitate and reintegrate returnees. She reflected on good practices to learn from Central Asian experiences. She said that many civil society organizations in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan were widely integrated into development, design, and implementation of reintegration, rehabilitation and resocialization processes. “I would like to highlight the crucial role of the women-led organizations in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Women leaders such as Olga Ryl, Gulnaz Rasdykova, Lola Shakirova, and Oliya Ilmuradova, Nazifa Kamolova, Malika Dodoeva have been working hard from the first day with returnees. They met returnees in the plane and since then they have been accompanying returnees helping them to deal with psychological, legal, social and other problems” said Cholpon Orozobekova.
Indeed, the women-led organizations have been playing crucial role to integrate women and facilitate community acceptance of female returnees. They embraced reintegration efforts that include vocational and psychological training programs led by women and mothers, working with local communities in providing sociopsychological work as group therapy and psychological counseling to women during the process of reintegration.
The full video translation of the event can be found here: UN Live United Nations Web TV – Central Asian Experience with Individuals returned from Syria and Iraq: successes, challenges and lessons learned