The Union for the Mediterranean contributes to the international community’s renewed efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation with a view to preventing extremism and intolerance.
Barcelona, 22 May 2015. The Secretary General of the UfM, Fathallah Sijilmassi, participated at the OSCE Security days on “Building Bridges: Promoting Dialogue to Prevent Radicalization and Violent Extremism”, held in Vienna on 21-22 May 2015.
The Conference, opened by the OSCE Secretary General, Lamberto Zannier, gathered senior officials from governments and international organizations, experts, religious and civil society leaders and leading journalists from OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation, to discuss on how different instruments – including media, education, inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, and empowerment of women and youth – can contribute to effective counter-narratives that can help reduce tensions and promote mutual understanding.
The Secretary-General of the UfM, Fathallah Sijilmassi, participated at the session “A call to action: strengthening international responses to radicalization that leads to terrorism”, along with Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Faisal Bin Muaammar, Secretary General of the King Abdullah International Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue (KAICIID) and Hatem Atallah, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF).
“The increasing importance of issues related to the fight against terrorism, radicalization, and the rise of the phenomenon of intolerance calls to intensify inter-cultural dialogue more than ever, and probably also to respond to the diverse causes lying at the origin of these phenomena“, said the SG during his intervention.
At the 20th anniversary of the Barcelona Process, and as a contribution to ongoing debates on the review of the European Neighborhood Policy, the UfM is contributing along with its partners to promote inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue in the Mediterranean. In this regard, at the initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, the institutions coinciding at this afternoon’s session, along with the European Union, have partnered to convene a high-level meeting on Inter-cultural and Inter-religious dialogue at the end of July 2015. This meeting will gather organizations and personalities committed on intercultural dialogue in the Mediterranean, with a view to raising the visibility of on-going initiatives, identifying existing synergies, as well joining efforts to strengthen cooperation in this field.