The threat of terrorism is not limited to specific regimes, but it extends to threaten the future of the world
The international community has not succeeded in eradicating terrorism
On the sidelines of the training program hosted by the Greek organization E.K.O in Athens, entitled “Countering terrorism and violent extremism”, funded by the European Union, with the participation of seven Euro-Mediterranean countries, including Egypt, represented by Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights, which is taking place during the period of (14-23 November, 2018). Maat Association co-organized a conference in cooperation with the Greek organization E.K.O, the International Alliance for Peace and Development from Switzerland, the East and West Center for Sustainable Development from Jordan, and the NOV Act Organization from Spain. The conference was entitled “The role of civil society in combating terrorism and promoting peacebuilding”, and was held in a hotel located in the Greek capital on Saturday, 17 November 2018.
Mr Okeil emphasized in the conference that: The threat of terrorism is not limited to specific regimes, but it extends to threaten the future of the world and destroys all efforts to build peace, love, tolerance and coexistence. As he also asserted that the international community has not succeeded in eliminating terrorism or even reducing it. The reason for this is the mixing of political interests with moral positions and not adopting comprehensive convergent plans to eliminate violence and extremism. Furthermore, he also assured that violence and terrorism disrupt the process of peaceful democratic transition in a number of countries that have witnessed uprisings and popular revolutions in protest against corruption, injustice and the failure of economic policies.
Moreover, he also pointed out the importance of civil society organizations being a strong actor in the war on terror, of which across the borders, the cultures and the religions. He also emphasized that confronting terrorism cannot be achieved without a comprehensive political, social, security, economic, cultural and human rights confrontation. Furthermore, he pointed out that violence and terrorism disrupted the process of peaceful democratic transition in a number of countries that witnessed popular uprisings and revolutions in protest against corruption, injustice and the failure of economic policies.
Also, the General Director of Maat Association stated from Athens, that there are certain countries that support terrorism and extremism and provide safe havens, media platforms, funding, logistical and intelligence support, as well as the political cover of terrorist groups. Furthermore, these countries have injected enormous funds in support of terrorist groups in countries such as Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Libya.
While, he also addressed the Euro-Mediterranean youth; Do not lose hope in grasping the path of peace and eliminating terrorism and extremism at its roots.
Please, always bear in mind the famous saying of Mahatma Gandhi, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”. Last but not least, he concluded his speech with calling on the world, donors, and international development partners to redesign their funding strategies and future plans to help governments and civil society organizations in implementing effective interventions within the objectives of Goal 16.
In the same context, Hagar Abdel Monsif, director of Maat’s African Affairs Unit manager said that, although the UN counter-terrorism strategy has been in existence since 2006, it has not succeeded in stopping or even reducing these terrorist attacks. Hagar also recommended the need for governments to adopt effective policies to counter terrorism and extremism, as the current international counterterrorism strategies lead countries to adopt policies to combat terrorism on a voluntary basis, which proved ineffective.
It is worth mentioning that, the participants in this conference from seven Euro-Mediterranean countries, namely; Italy, Greece, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Spain, and Turkey. Hence, the conference included an interactive dialogue between the representatives of these Euro-Mediterranean youth with the common aim of building peace under the slogan “Unite for Peace”, which resulted in recommendations unanimously agreed by the participants as follows:
Adoption of the “Youth for Peace” program
- Call for the United Nations to adopt a comprehensive convention against terrorism and extremism.
- Maintaining the periodicity of the conference, as well as expanding it.
- Condemn all forms of terrorism, violence and extremism.
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