MADRID +10: PREVENTING AND COUNTERING VIOLENT EXTREMISM / 27-28 October 2015 / Madrid, Spain
Organized by the Club de Madrid & The International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence (ICSR)
“MADRID +10: The Policy Dialogue on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism" is a two-day conference mobilizing policy makers, opinion formers, civil society and grassroots organizations around the concept of preventing and countering radicalization and violent extremism, increasing public engagement and promoting grassroots initiatives.
Held in Madrid from October 27-28, the Club de Madrid Policy Dialogue will bring together a group of influential political leaders, policy makers, and opinion formers drawing attention to the issue, having them share their expertise and lending their credibility and political weight to the Global Consensus on how to confront and prevent radicalization and violent extremism, wherever it happens.
Ten years ago, on the first anniversary of the Madrid train attacks, the Club de Madrid (CdM) convened a unique conference, International Summit on Democracy Terrorism and Security, bringing together more than 1,000 world leaders and experts to analyze the causes of terrorism and find better, more sustainable ways for how it can be confronted.
The result was the Madrid Agenda - a document which had a profound impact on the global debate, giving rise to a new consensus while destroying the illusion that the political and social divisions that produce – and provide justification for – terrorism can be resolved through military means alone.
Ten years on, extremism and radicalism of fundamentalist groups is seriously undermining human rights and democratic values. The recent violent attacks committed in France, Belgium, Denmark, Nigeria and the turmoil in the Middle East is deeply impacting the international community. Large parts of Syria and Iraq have been taken over by a group which calls itself Islamic State (IS) but has little to do with the Islamic faith, values and aspirations of the vast majority of Muslims across the world.
The vicious violent conflict triggered by extremism – one that could be more damaging and destabilizing to global peace than any conflict since the end of the Cold War – could lead much of the world’s attention to focus on the military solutions. As in the results of the Madrid Agenda, we believe that military means alone, without adequate long-term multi-approach strategies and foreign policy, will not be sufficient in dealing with the multiple conflicts, causes and extremist ideologies that have produced the current situation. Thus, it is time for world leaders, opinion formers and experts from different backgrounds and parts of the world to come together to analyze the drivers of conflict, change the debate, agree on what needs to be done, and commit to a plan of action.
The Policy Dialogue
The aim of the Policy Dialogue is to create an interactive international platform at which the Global Consensus will be finalized and presented. To this end, we will bring together a group of influential political leaders, policy makers, and opinion formers drawing attention to the issue, having them share their expertise and lending their credibility and political weight to the Global Consensus.
The Policy Dialogue will address the issues of countering violent extremism and radicalization from different angles, with the aim to identifying good practices, policies, tools and mechanisms with global and local relevance. It will be an opportunity to share national strategies as well as grassroots initiatives focused at developing credible counter-narratives generated at the local and community level.
The event will include parallel thematic workshops bringing together representatives from civil society and NGOs working to combat various forms of radicalization and extremism, as well as presenting grassroots initiatives. In addition, key global stakeholders and current political leaders will bring their expertise to the debates on these thematic areas.
The conference participants will include Club de Madrid Members, current political leaders and heads of state, international experts, government representatives, policy makers, international organizations, religious leaders, private sector, academia, think tanks and civil society organizations.
For more information about the Policy DIalogue, please contact Maram Anbar, Senior program Officer at Club de Madrid.
The Global Consensus
This initiative aims to channel the collective wisdom, ideas, experience and political will of policymakers and opinion formers from all over the world to produce an authoritative Global Consensus on how to confront and prevent radicalization and violent extremism, wherever it happens. This Global Consensus, a set of principles and values that will become a benchmark, resource and source of inspiration to political leaders on how to respond to this seemingly intractable challenge.
The added value of this initiative is to bring the political experience in decision making of Club de Madrid Members (all experienced democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers) who have dealt with these challenges during their time in office and can provide a needed political dimension to the proposals and ideas of experts and practitioners.
The Global Consensus will be formulated based on existing knowledge and expertise, dialogue and consultations involving leading experts and Members of the Club de Madrid, to be discussed and launched at the Policy Dialogue, with the presence of current political leaders and policymakers. Following the public presentation opinion formers, international institutions, civil society, private sector representatives, and the general public will be invited to endorse the Global Consensus document and promote its objectives using different tools including the initiative’s online platform.
The Global Consensus, therefore, will be an inspiring document to set the blueprint for a multi-level narrative framing the principles for building peaceful and inclusive societies. It will instill new initiatives to be led by Club de Madrid, its partners and other key actors in this effort to reinforce new global and local responses to strengthen the factors that inhibit violent extremism.