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September 20, 2016 from 1:30 p.m. — 2:45 p.m. ET.
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On September 20th, during the opening of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of UN Women, and Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini of the Women’s Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL) will co-host the launch of the Global Solutions Exchange.

The exchange is to be a mechanism for regular dialogue between civil society and government on issues related to preventing extremism. The objective of this first high-level meeting is to discuss the gender dimensions of preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism.

“Women’s movements are locally rooted and globally connected. The work they do is culturally sensitive while innovative and courageous. We need to listen to their analysis and heed their advice” says Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, the executive director of the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) which spearheaded WASL.

The event, a discussion moderated by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, will feature extraordinary civil society leaders from Pakistan, Iraq and Nigeria who will speak about their work and share their perspectives on needed policy changes to effectively eliminate violent extremism from their communities. Heads of States and Governments will give remarks and enter into dialogue with these representatives of the many grassroots activists working for peace, rights and pluralism in the face of rising extremism and pervasive violence globally.

As Norwegian Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, stated in September 2015 remarks welcoming the women’s alliance: “Last year, the Security Council adopted resolution 2178, which calls for the promotion of women’s empowerment as part of the work to counter violent extremism. Extremists also understand the power of women, so they want them on their side. At the same time they attack women’s rights and silence women who offer an alternative vision of society. But it is exactly these voices that must be heard.”

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