The Federal National Council’s Committee for Foreign Affairs said it had discussed a number of articles of the federal draft law regarding the establishment of the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism (Hedaya).
The Head of the committee, Rashid Al Sharaiqi, said the bill had been referred to the House by the government for deliberation. In its explanatory note, the government said it had set up Hedaya to honour a pledge it made during the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) held in New York two years ago. The Federal Cabinet has endorsed the draft law setting up Hedaya, which aims to create common ground for dialogue, exchange of views and cooperation among nations and national and international specialised centres to combat international terrorism.
The 15-article bill defines the mission, message and terms of references of the centre as well as other administrative and financial matters. Article 2 says the centre will enjoy legal status and financial and administrative independence to perform its duties and achieve its goals.
According to Articles 10 to 13, the Abu Dhabi-based centre falls under the jurisdiction of UAE law and is not allowed to perform any acts that breach the laws of the UAE, contradict its interests or interfere in its internal affairs.
“Towards delivering its mandate, Article 4 states that Hedaya will establish a database for sharing information with GCTF member states, build capacities, offer programmes to counter violent terrorism, conduct and assess relevant studies and research, organise workshops, training courses and lectures, coordinate and cooperate with the media and forge collaborative partnerships with both the public and private sectors,” Al Sharaiqi added.
The centre will be proactively engaged in three programme areas: research, dialogue and cooperation, and training.