G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism

On 26 May 2017, the Leaders of G7 meeting at Taormina issued a Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism.

In this Statement, the Leaders condemned terrorist attack of Manchester and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and proclaimed that the fight against terrorism and violent extremism remains a major priority for the G7.

Further to the G7 Action Plan adopted in Ise-Shima, the Leaders of G7 tasked their Ministers of Interior to meet as soon as possible to focus on the implementation of a set of measures in close cooperation with private sector and civil society, including (1) the misuse of Internet by terrorists, (2) the risk posed by foreign fighters as they disperse from theaters of conflict, (3) existing sources and channels of terrorist financing and the financing of violent extremists, (4) the flow and return of foreign fighters using regular flights (5) the diversion of weapons into the hands of terrorists, (6) information sharing functions of Interpol.

As regards culture and the protection of cultural heritage, the G7 Statements is as follows:

“11. We are convinced of the distinctive role of culture as an instrument to fight terrorism. Cultivating culture is a way to foster tolerance and dialogue among peoples, mutual understanding, religious pluralism, and recognition and respect for diversity. Culture contributes to the preservation of identity and the memory of mankind, encourages dialogue and exchanges among nations, and, ultimately, can be an extraordinary instrument to prevent radicalization and violent extremism, especially among youth.

12. We also affirm our strong determination to cooperate in protecting cultural heritage and countering the looting and trafficking of cultural property. Such property is a source of financing for activities of terrorist groups and organizations, but also a heinous means to eradicate cultural diversity from the territories under their control”.

See G7 Taormina Statement on the Fight Against Terrorism and Violent Extremism

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“Culture is an essential part of the EU´s international relations” – Council Conclusions adopted on 23.5.2017

On 23 May 2017, the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council has adopted the “Council Conclusions on an EU Strategic approach to international cultural relations”.

The Conclusions acknowledges that the EU Strategic approach should be in line with the 2005 UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It also recognizes that international cultural relations can only developed by encouraging cultural diversity within the EU, creativity, and mutual learning and dialogue that is nurtured over time, with a view to further developing intercultural competences and promoting intercultural dialogue.

See full text of the Council Conclusions on an EU Strategic approach to International Cultural Relations. 

 

New EU Directive 2017/541 on Combating Terrorism published at Official Journal

On 31 March 2017, the Official Journal of the EU has published Directive (EU) 2017/541 of 15 March 2017 on combating terrorism and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JAH and amending Council Decision 2005/671/JHA.

Paragraphs (31) to (33) of the Directive, related to the increasing risks posed by radicalization and the need to adopt a multidisciplinary approach in this field, are as follows:

  1. As reflected in the revised EU Strategy for Combating Radicalisation and Recruitment to Terrorism of 2014 and in the Conclusions of the Council of the European Union and of the Member States meeting within the Council on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism of 2015, prevention of radicalisation and recruitment to terrorism, including radicalisation online, requires a long-term, proactive and comprehensive approach. Such approach should combine measures in the area of criminal justice with policies in the fields of education, social inclusion and integration, as well as the provision of effective deradicalisation or disengagement and exit or rehabilitation programmes, including in the prison and probation context. Member States should share good practices on effective measures and projects in this field, in particular as regards foreign terrorist fighters as well as returnees, where appropriate in cooperation with the Commission and the relevant Union agencies and bodies.
  2. Member States should pursue their efforts to prevent and counter radicalisation leading to terrorism by coor­ dinating, by sharing information and experience on national prevention policies, and by implementing or, as the case may be, updating national prevention policies taking into account their own needs, objectives and capabilities building on their own experiences. The Commission should, where appropriate, provide support to national, regional and local authorities in developing prevention policies.
  3. Member States should, depending on the relevant needs and particular circumstances in each Member State, provide support to professionals, including civil society partners likely to come in contact with persons vulnerable to radicalisation. Such support measures may include, in particular, training and awareness-raising measures aimed at enabling them to identify and address signs of radicalisation. Such measures should, where appropriate, be taken in cooperation with private companies, relevant civil society organisations, local communities and other stake­ holders.

Cultural weekend – Toledo, 25 and 26 March 2017

TOLEDO ANDALUSÍ 

TOLERANCE AGAINST DESTRUCTION OF CULTURAL HERITAGE 

“Toledo Andalusí” is organized with the goal of promoting a culture of peace and tolerance towards Muslim community and Islam.

The set of Conferences will cover the arrival of Muslims to the city of Toledo and their stay for several centuries, including the period after the conquest of Toledo by King Alfonso VI. The  most relevant features of Muslim religions architecture will be analyzed, taking as representative example the small Mosque of Bab Al-Mardum.

The participants will have the opportunity of learning the foundations of Islam, one of the “religions of the book”, totally far from the fundamentalist ideas serving as ideological basis of the violent extremism and terrorism of Daesh. The influence of the Andalusí Culture in the civil architecture of that period and further constructions, including the Taller del Moro, will be also described.

The speakers, all of them prestigious University professors with a wide knowledge of Medieval History, Art, Islamic History and Religion, will also discuss about the coexistence between the three cultures (Christians, Muslims and Jews) in Toledo and the contributions of Muslims in the areas of Art. Humanities and Sciences. The development of Botany and Agronomy, and the proliferation of gardens and orchards at that time, will be specially covered.

The Conferences are combined with several Scientific Cultural Visits, showing the result of University researches focused on the walls and main palaces of Toledo Andalusí, including the Huerta del Rey (Palacio de Galiana), which was under the responsibility of Ibn Wafic, doctor of the Arab Court, author of several books of Medicine and accredited expert of Botany.

See program and further information in English – EN 

Véase el programa y más información en Español – ES

 


 

UN Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism, 7-8 April 2016

The Geneva Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism – The Way Forward has been held on 7-8 April 2016 at the United Nations Office in Geneva.

The Conference has been co-hosted by the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations and built upon the February formal debate of the General Assembly about the Secretary-General Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. It has provided a great opportunity for the international community to share experiences and good practices in addressing factors of violent extremism and agreeing on common actions at national, regional and international level.

See full information on the Geneva Conference – EN