United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Dhaka signed an agreement on 07 September 2021 to extend the ongoing Partnerships for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project till 2024.

The Norwegian Ambassador, Espen Rikter-Svendsen, and UNDP Resident Representative, Sudipto Mukerjee, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations that brings a total Norwegian contribution of 1.3 million USD for the project.

After the first phase, the second phase of the project will support research on violence and monitor the digital space to promote tolerance, inclusivity, and diversity in Bangladesh.

“The Partnerships for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project aims at making it easier to understand sources of violence, engages citizens as messengers of positive messages of tolerance and inclusivity, and develop a coherent and contextual strategy to prevent violent extremism,” said Espen Rikter-Svendsen during the signing ceremony. “The first phase of this remarkable project has achieved significant progress due to the commitment of the Bangladeshi government and other main actors, which is why Norway is pleased to extend its support to the second phase,” he further added.

Sudipto Mukerjee, in his remarks, said, “Holy Artisan incident unfolded the different drivers of violent extremism in Bangladesh breaking the stereotypical ideas, which PTIB tried to address in the first phase”.  “The second phase will continue furthering the understanding of the drivers and engaging the youth, religious leaders and other stakeholders as messengers of peace”, he added.  Sudipto thanked the Norwegian Government for their continued support to promote peace and tolerance in Bangladesh.

The Partnerships for a Tolerant, Inclusive Bangladesh (PTIB) project helps to improve knowledge and insights into the drivers of conflict, violence, and extremism and build the capacity of relevant stakeholders to analyse the sources and nature of disinformation, exclusion, and intolerance in Bangladesh. It implements an evidence-based, multi-stakeholder engagement and communication strategy to promote tolerance, inclusivity, and diversity in Bangladeshi communities. The project also coordinates and cooperates with the Government in its efforts to strengthen inclusivity and tolerance and prevent violent extremism.

Among others, Morshed Ahmed, Senior Advisor, Norwegian Embassy, Van Nguyen, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP, Ashekur Rahman, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP and Robert Stoelman, PTIB- Project Manager, UNDP, were also present in the signing ceremony.

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