Strong Cities Network hosts South Asia Regional Practitioners’ Workshop

Kolkata, 31st January 2018: Today top city officials and community leaders from Bangladesh, India, The Maldives and Sri Lanka will gather in Kolkata, for a two-day workshop which aims to build peaceful communities and prevent violent extremism from across South Asia.

The South Asia Regional Practitioners Workshop is led by ISD’s Strong Cities Network (SCN) and will bring together over 30 municipal-level and frontline practitioners for a series of sessions with top international representatives from both the public and private sector. This includes presentations from Facebook’s Public Policy Manager for India, South and Central Asia, Kavitha Kunhi Kannan, and Humayun Kabir, Former Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States.

The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for participants to share best practices and engage in training for tackling violence, hate and polarisation in their cities, both online and offline. Training sessions will focus on how cities can improve their planning, taking account of specific local risks and identifying partners to support local projects.

The event was opened by Craig Hall, Consul General of the United States in Kolkata and Edward Jackson, Senior Programme Manager at ISD who oversees the SCN. The workshop has been organised in cooperation with the U.S. Consulate General Kolkata, with partners including Facebook and the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Edward Jackson, Senior Programme Manager at ISD: “We’re delighted to be hosting the first regional practitioners workshop in South Asia in Kolkata. We hope the next couple of days will equip city leaders from across the region with the information, resources and connections they need to develop effective prevention strategies that build local resilience, pre-empt division and prevent violence.”

Craig Hall, U.S. Consul General in Kolkata: “The United States and India are strategic partners in the fight against violent extremism in South Asia. The United States values India’s role in protecting and extending global security and stability and welcomes India’s vision to geographically extend its contribution to promoting peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.”