KCSS Researchers attended the Western Balkans Resilience Forum in Sofia, Bulgaria

KCSS Researchers Ms. Teuta Avdimetaj and Mr. Skender Perteshi, attended the Western Balkans Resilience Forum which was held in Sofia, Bulgaria from 12-14 December, 2019 to discuss regional approaches to countering religious and ethno-nationalist extremism in the Western Balkans. The Forum was organized by IRI in cooperation with the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, the Sofia Security Forum, the Center for the Study of Democracy and with the support of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations.

Ms. Avdimetaj was part of the panel “Returning from Violence: How to Tackle the Issue of Conflict-Zone Returnees in the Western Balkans” where she discussed the importance of a multi-sectoral approach to addressing the return of conflict zones returnees, specifically women and children. Further, she showcased the extensive experience of KCSS in researching the topic of violent extremism as well as implementing prevention programs at community level, while emphasizing the need for civil society’s  continued involvement in facilitating the reintegration of returnees back into society.

Mr.Perteshi was part of the Regional Panel “Innovative Approaches in Building Resilience – EU and Regional Experience” where he discussed the role of building a resilient community in preventing of violent extremism in region. Further, he presented the KCSS work and experience in building resilient communities against violence and extremism in Kosovo as a long and sustainable approach in preventing religious based extremism and ethno nationalism extremism in Kosovo.

During the two days of the Forum, Ms. Avdimetaj and Mr. Perteshi have facilitated the BREAKOUT SESSIONS on Researching “Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans: Past Studies and Emerging Priorities” The breakout sessions aim to provide these groups with a platform where they can exchange ideas and knowledge of current trends in the field of CVE and other related security challenges.