Madrid+10

The Madrid+10 initiative aims to inform and empower stakeholders – including government officials and civil society organizations – in the struggle against radicalization and violent extremism to effectively tackle these challenges while respecting democracy and the rule of law. The initiative’s objectives are to:

  • Create a process through which expertise and political experience are channeled into the formulation of a Global Consensus on Preventing and Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism. The consensus document, to be signed by all participants, will consist of a Declaration of Principles linked to the four policy briefs produced as part of the Policy Dialogue.
  • Organize a Policy Dialogue and workshops to generate international attention and commitment for the Global Consensus, making it possible for citizens, leaders and CSOs to join international institutions and governments as integral parts of the process.
  • Sustain engagement and progress through an interactive online platform that will be live for at least 12 months after the Policy Dialogue

On October 27-28, a Policy Dialogue on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism was held in Madrid with the objective of channeling the collective wisdom, ideas, experience and political will of policymakers and academics from all over the world. The result was the Global Consensus: a set of principles, values and guidelines for how governments, businesses, and civil society organizations can work together to confront and prevent radicalization and violent extremism. This accord is to serve as a benchmark, resource and source of inspiration to political leaders on how to respond to the daunting challenge of radicalization and violent extremism. The Global Consensus builds on work done by the WLA-CdM in 2005, specifically the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security and the Madrid Agenda produced by WLA-CdM Members, political leaders and experts. It also ties in with – and furthers – international initiatives on preventing and countering violent extremism, notably the European Commission and European Council conclusions of 9th February 2015; USG’s recent initiatives and White House Summit on 18-19 February 2015; Council of Europe action plan announced on 19th May 2015, and the leaders’ summit against violent extremism that took place during the 2015 UN General Assembly.

 

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Madrid+10 Conclusions

 

The Global Consensus includes ideas for community-based recommendations and good practices on the following thematic streams:

(1) Faith and Values: Amplifying Voices of Positive Narrative to PVE/CVE

In many conflicts, faith is turned into a weapon. The voices of extremists are growing louder than those of moderates, using scriptural references to mobilize for war, promote intolerance, deny civil liberties, and justify violence. How can community and faith-based engagement be turned into an effective, strategic approach to counter radicalization and violent extremism? What can religious leaders do to change the narrative to assert diversity, inclusion, and a shared society as well as undermine and counter the forces of radicalization, intolerance and extremism? What principles and practical strategies should be adopted to address conflicts and prevent any faith from being hijacked by radical ideologies? How can religious pluralism increase the positive impact of diversity and social capital and foster peaceful, cohesive, shared societies grounded on common values and co-existence?

(2) Politics and Identity: Strengthening the Social Fabric Beyond Identities

While increasing political turmoil and unrest in many parts of the world may contribute to the rise of violent extremism, extremists have largely used ethnic and identity conflicts to fuel radicalization. Many extremist groups use sectarianism and the individual’s need to ‘belong’ to raise ethnic tensions and political fault lines. The impact of identity conflicts goes beyond the physical borders of any one country or region. Social media and global communication tools have made it possible for political unrest in one country to ignite conflicts and violence in another. How can policies and political leaders prevent sectarianism, discrimination, and violent extremism? What principles need to be respected to ensure societies are pluralistic and cohesive? An outcome of the 2005 Madrid Summit was the Shared Societies Project with a set of priorities, principles and actions intended to guide policymakers to promote social inclusion and counter radicalization and recruitment narrative. How can we renew the commitments and principles for a shared society to counter radicalization and violent extremism?

(3) Economics and Opportunity: Strategic Multi-Stakeholder Economic Approach to Prevent and Counter Extremism

Radicalization has often been linked to economic challenges and lack of resources, making marginalized individuals from poor economic background more receptive and vulnerable to exploitation by extremist groups. Recent research indicates that radicalization is no longer a problem of impoverished societies; it is also on the rise in economically rich and educated societies. However, inequality and distribution of wealth are cited as driving forces for why many individuals join extremist groups. What role can governments, international institutions and the private sector play in promoting prosperity and equal opportunities? How can they become a force for positive change and a counter-narrative against violent extremism? What values and practices should policymakers prioritize to address issues such as social injustice, unemployment, and corruption? How can accountability, monitoring and control be enforced in an open economic system to end extremist’s group access to financial support and resources? How can the private sector and multi-nationals play a role in preventing and combating violent extremism?

 

(4) Rights and Security: Human Security A Pathway to Countering Violent Extremism

The initial answer to violent extremism has so far focused on military action. The increase in extremists’ threats has led to tougher regulations and tightening security protocols restricting individual’s movement and freedoms. The fear narrative feeds into the cycle of violence, discrimination, and exclusion. Instead of safeguarding the liberties of their citizens, governments are resorting to a reflexive security response and military interventions. What are the principles that need to guide countries’ security strategies? How can conflicts between rights and security be resolved? Do long-standing conventions and international agreements need to be updated? What practical steps can be taken to promote human rights in the face of extremist, sometimes existential, threats against entire peoples?