Club de Madrid’s 2015 Policy Dialogue has been a two-day conference on terrorism that brought together Prime ministers and Presidents, experts and scholars, representatives of the civil society and grassroots organizations with the aim of finding common ground on the issues of preventing and countering radicalization and violent extremism.
As His Majesty King Felipe of Spain remarked in his opening speech at the conference, today it is fundamental for all of us to engage in a global discussion, for we live in times that need global answers to be given. In fact, as the terrorist threat spreading worldwide menaces National borders, endangers the lives of thousands innocents and turns their countries into war zones, an immediate and encompassing action on a large scale is urged.
Madrid+10 represents the international community’s response to tackle both the bursts of violence and the migrant emergency. At this high profile gathering, a transnational Policy Dialogue has been successfully conducted, whose results can be exemplified in one document, the Global Consensus, which combines the democratic aspirations expressed by the community and the informed dialogue held at the conference. As for the success of the conference, the joint effort to counter violent extremism has resulted in a deepened knowledge of the causes of the problem at hand and in increased awareness of the possible solutions. In particular, the conference endeavored to overthrow the destructive and hateful attitude of the extremists introducing a reversed narrative on the issue. In this respect, several themes have been identified and explored during the conference’s debate and workshops, in order to find new practices and strategies to turn societies’ weaknesses into shared experience against political extremism.
The themes, along which terrorism episodes happen and, consequently, should be fought, are deeply interconnected and are Faith and Religion, Economics and Opportunity, Politics and Identity, Rights and Security.
During the conference, attention has been drawn on the ability of extremists to turn the faith of disenfranchised individuals into a weapon against themselves and the society they live in, radicalizing their actions and their intents. The Global Consensus document commits to address the issue encouraging its participants to promote pluralism, tolerance and equal opportunity in their communities.
As a result of this commitment the document acquires even more relevance if one considers that, while poverty is not a primary factor in making terrorism prosper, inequality is. Accordingly, Madrid+10 agreed on an international agenda that focuses on economic development and promotes enforcement of accountability, monitoring and control systems at a governmental level as tools for preventing social injustice, unemployment, and corruption.
As for the political effort, the outcome of the conference has been a mutual obligation among the participants to prevent sectarianism, discrimination, stigmatization and violent extremism through the role of a responsible and just leadership. For this reason, by signing the document, leaders all over the world agree on conflict-resolution approaches, regional dialogue and cooperation.
Finally, Madrid+10 takes a stand in favor of a non-military answer to extremism. Among all the global consensus’ principles, the effort to disrupt the cycle of violence has a mention of honor. In order to protect individuals’ security and human rights, the document instructs to abide by the rule of Law and the ideals of peace-keeping and proportionality for a nonviolent resolution of conflicts.
A new formula has, thus, emerged from the interactive platform of communication that is the Global Consensus, which, hopefully, will be able to draw attention on the issue of terrorism and extremism and to give global visibility to National counter-strategies.
Following this extraordinary international exertions, in the closing speech Secretary Of United Nations Ban ki-Moon, praised the example of leadership shown throughout the conference and expressed the UN’s full support for Madrid’s forum, which is, in his words, consistent with “the core values of the Human Rights declaration and the rule of Law prescribed in the chart of UN”.
As the dialogue still remains open and the initiative continues from the pages of this website, every individual is solicited to sign the online form and to contribute to join the fight against radicalization and violent extremism.