Radicalization and violent extremism are one of the greatest threats currently undermining human rights and democratic values. Although the menace posed by groups like Daesh continue to create headlines, violent extremism is not limited to a specific region or religion. The cycle of violence triggered by extremism could be more damaging and destabilizing to global peace than any conflict since the end of the Cold War and is fuelling crises such as the massive internal displacement, and refugee exodus from the Middle East to the European countries.
In this context, with the support of the European Commission, the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United States Department of State among other partners, the Club de Madrid and theInternational Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) are launching a global dialogue to mobilize policy makers, opinion leaders, civil society and grassroots organizations to prevent and counter radicalization and violent extremism, increase public engagement and promote grassroots initiatives with long term policy solutions based on respect for democracy and human rights.
The first step of this initiative will be the two-day Policy Dialogue “Madrid+10: Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” that will bring together 250 high level participants, including 40 Club de Madrid Members, all of them democratically elected former Prime Ministers and Presidents from every continent. This gathering aims at producing a “Global Consensus”, a document on how to confront and prevent radicalization and violent extremism. This Global Consensus, a set of principles and values, 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. It will utilize the Club de Madrid m
embers’ extensive, high level experience in political decision making dealing with similar challenges during their time in office. It will also provide a political dimension to the experts’ and practitioners’ proposals.
The confirmed participants will include, among many others, leaders such as the president of the Club de Madrid, Vaira Vike-Freiberga (Latvia); Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway); John Bruton (Ireland); Wim Kok (The Netherlands); Yves Letterme (Belgium); Danilo Turk (Slovenia); Fuad Siniora(Lebanon); Sadiq Al Mahdi (Sudan); Mahdi Jomaa (Tunisia); Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria); Cassam Uteem (Mauritius); Felipe Calderón (México); Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica); Ricardo Lagos y Sebastián Piñera (Chile); Jorge Tuto Quiroga (Bolivia);Andrés Pastrana (Colombia); RozaOtunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan); José Manuel Ramos-Horta (East Timor) and Jennifer Mary Shipley (New Zealand).
The policy dialogue will be organized by four thematic workshops all of them focused on countering radicalization and violent extremism:
- Women, organized by Hedayah
- Education, organized by Anna Lindh Foundation
- Inter-religious and Intercultural dialogue, organized by KAICIID
- Online radicalization, organized by ICSR and TRENDS
Key to the project’s success will be the implementation of an online platform where different interlocutors and partners can read and sign on to the Global Consensus, sustaining the commitment and engaging in a debate on how its principles can be translated into policies and measures. The platform will highlight good practices, trends and challenges, initiatives, policies and raise awareness of the work done by key experts and interlocutors, realizing the Global Consensus ideas in their own community, society or country.