ANKARA (AA) - New Zealand on Friday launched the Center of Research Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism.
In a statement, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government is implementing all recommendations of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 2019 terrorist attack at mosques in Christchurch.
“We have ensured that the Centre of Excellence will go even further than the Commission’s recommendation to establish a programme to fund independent New Zealand-specific research on the causes of, and measures to prevent, violent extremism and terrorism," Ardern said.
The government had formed a royal commission inquiry to find out whether there were any failings by government agencies in the Christchurch mosques attack.
The 792-page report, which took about 18 months to compile, had identified deficiencies in the firearms licensing system, as well as "inappropriate concentration of resources" on the part of security agencies.
It had made a list of recommendations, including changes to how firearms are managed, establishing a new national intelligence and security agency and a proposal for the police to better identify and respond to hate crimes.
Brenton Tarrant, an Australian white supremacist, killed 51 people and injured 40 more at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019.
He was sentenced to life in prison this August without the possibility of parole, in the first such ruling ever handed down in the island country.
“After the tragedy of 15 March it was clear to all New Zealanders that we had to do everything in our power to stop this ever happening again. I believe this Centre will help us to be a more resilient, inclusive and safer Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Ardern.
* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid