8 decembrie 2021

Deschiderea Conferinţei Globale „Participarea democratică incluzivă şi combaterea extremismului violent

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Ministrul afacerilor externe Bogdan Aurescu a transmis miercuri, 24 noiembrie 2021, un mesaj în deschiderea Conferinţei Globale „Participarea democratică incluzivă şi combaterea extremismului violent (Inclusive Democratic Participation to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism)”, organizată sub înaltul patronaj al Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al României, în calitate de Preşedinţie a Comunităţii Democraţiilor (2019 – 2022). În deschiderea evenimentului au mai participat, în calitate de co-organizatori, ministrul afacerilor externe, al cooperării pentru Africa şi expatriaţilor din Regatul Maroc, Nasser Bourita, şi secretarul general al Comunităţii Democraţiilor, Thomas E. Garrett.

Evenimentul a prilejuit o dezbatere pe tema provocărilor impuse de manifestările extremismului violent şi a rolului democraţiilor în prevenirea şi combaterea acestui fenomen cu cauze şi implicaţii multiple.

În intervenţia sa, şeful diplomaţiei române a evidenţiat necesitatea de consolidare a rezilienţei democratice, ca măsură esenţială în vederea prevenirii şi combaterii extremismului violent. A subliniat că, prin asumarea Preşedinţiei Comunităţii Democraţiilor (CoD) pentru un mandat de doi ani, prelungit în mod excepţional cu încă un an până în 2022 (https://www.mae.ro/node/55727), România a demonstrat angajamentul constant pentru democraţie, drepturile şi libertăţile fundamentale ale omului, precum şi pentru respectarea statului de drept la nivel internaţional, condiţii esenţiale pentru asigurarea păcii, stabilităţii şi prosperităţii. În context, a punctat interesul ţării noastre de a împărtăşi bunele practici în acest domeniu şi a amintit rezultatele celei de-a zecea Conferinţe Ministeriale a CoD pe care a găzduit-o la 22 septembrie 2021, la New York, în marja segmentului la nivel înalt al Adunării Generale a Organizaţiei Naţiunilor Unite.

Ministrul afacerilor externe Bogdan Aurescu a menţionat că înţelegerea cauzelor care conduc la radicalizare – printre care lipsa oportunităţilor economice şi sociale, perpetuarea inegalităţilor, lipsa educaţiei, ignoranţa şi instigarea la ură – reprezintă procesul esenţial pentru prevenirea acestui fenomen. Demnitarul român a evidenţiat rolul cooperării multilaterale coordonate în combaterea manifestărilor extremismului violent şi a terorismului.

Şeful diplomaţiei române a înaintat patru propuneri concrete pentru contracararea unor astfel de fenomene extreme: îmbunătăţirea şi extinderea programelor educaţionale cu abordare la nivelul întregii societăţi, pentru promovarea inclusivităţii şi toleranţei; prevenirea şi combaterea finanţării extremismului violent; consolidarea eforturilor pentru descurajarea discursului instigator la ură şi a propagandei, precum şi a radicalizării prin intermediul internetului; necesitatea de identificare a unor noi instrumente de drept internaţional, inclusiv utilizând justiţia internaţională, pentru combaterea mai eficientă a terorismului.

De asemenea, referindu-se la rolul educaţiei în asigurarea rezilienţei democratice, ministrul Bogdan Aurescu a amintit contribuţia oferită de România Secretariatului CoD pentru programe de pregătire în vederea promovării principiilor şi valorilor democratice, inclusiv cele organizate în luna iulie a acestui an pentru tineri marocani.

Intervenţia integrală a ministrului afacerilor externe în limba engleză poate fi urmărită aici: http://www.mae.ro/node/57223.

Transmitem mai jos transcrierea discursului în limba engleză al ministrului afacerilor externe Bogdan Aurescu cu acest prilej:

„Dear Minister Bourita,
Dear Secretary General Garrett,
Distinguished participants,

It is my great pleasure to open, together with minister Bourita and Secretary General Thomas Garrett this event on the topical theme of preventing and countering violent extremism. I am honored that this Conference takes place under the High Patronage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania, as the Presidency of the Community of Democracies. I thank minister Bourita and the Community of Democracies’ Secretary General for co-organizing this timely debate.
I also want to use this opportunity to express my deep regret that, because of the domestic political agenda, I am not able to be in Rabat in person, for this event today, and to also hold political consultations with minister Bourita, as we planned. I am confident that we will be able to reschedule soon. Once again, I am truly sorry for this!

Ladies and gentlemen,

Democracies around the world face multiples and sophisticated threats, especially in the context generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought new challenges, but also amplified some of the existing ones, such as violent extremism.
This phenomenon has a major disruptive impact on democratic governance. And this is why prevention and countering violent extremism are essential actions to ensure the protection and resilience of our democracies. Our event today is a proof of our determination to work towards this purpose.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

By assuming its role as Presidency of the CoD for a two-year mandate, and a further exceptional extension until September 2022, Romania has reinforced, and still continues to do so, its strong commitment for promoting and strengthening democratic values, as well as for fostering the international rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms. Romania has always associated democracy with peace, stability and prosperity. The dynamic calendar of events during our mandate facilitated prolific exchanges of good practices and ideas in this direction.

We are proud that during Romania’s Presidency, foreign ministers and high-level officials from democratic states, civil society representatives, and youth gathered at the 10th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies, which I hosted in New York, in the margins of the High-level segment of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, to discuss shared goals and to support democratic resilience. The Bucharest Ministerial Declaration of the Community of Democracies adopted on that occasion underlined the strong determination of our Community to remain fully engaged in this endeavour, including by supporting the upcoming Summit for Democracy organized by the U.S. Administration.

The Declaration also encompasses the commitment of the CoD Governing Council member states to ‘strongly condemn all acts of violence, including terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism, motivated by racism, xenophobia, ethnic, religious or belief-based hatred, gender discrimination and political platforms which incite such acts.’

Being aware of the complexity of this phenomenon, I want to underline that understanding the causes of radicalization leading to terrorist acts represents a key-process. Therefore, the earlier the process of awareness is triggered at the level of society, the more thorough and long-term the results are.

Lack of economic and social opportunities, perpetuating inequalities, fragile societies and a weak state power are among the root-causes of this phenomenon. Violent extremism is developed and fueled by hate, ignorance or distorted interpretations. Celebrating cultural diversity by promoting and protecting all forms of pluralism remains one of the most important ways to fight radicalization, alongside investments in education, promoting tolerance, inclusion, and creating condition for individuals to prosper. Efforts are also needed for institutional capacity building, assisting with the return of state authority in areas where it is weakened and with wider governance reform.

Ladies and gentlemen,

While violent extremism could stem from radical religious or political ideologies, this long-known phenomenon is now exacerbated through new radicalization enablers. Specifically, the malign use of Internet and social media platforms which are currently employed by extremist groups for disseminating propaganda, proliferation of hate speech, profiling new recruits, and enhancing radicalization.

In order to counter violent extremism in our societies or foreign influences, we must step up by acting in a coordinated manner, pursuing clear objectives, in accordance with international law and international humanitarian law.

Allow me to share with you a four-step pragmatic approach which I think it could be useful, and which I would like to encourage you to further analyze and develop during your debates:

1) A first step in preventing and countering violent extremism should be to enhance and expand educational programs with a whole-of-society approach, promoting inclusivity and tolerance. In the current context, a specific attention should be placed to women and children in refugee camps, but also to the reintegration and rehabilitation of the foreign terrorist fighters and their families.

2) Second, we must prevent and combat the financing of violent extremism, through a more thorough screening of aid funds and „educational” material offered by supporters of extremist ideologies.

3) Third, we must enhance our efforts to discourage hate speech and propaganda, as well as online radicalization, recruitment and training for terrorist purposes.

4) And forth, but certainly not last – finding new ways and means to make the fight against terrorism more effective, namely fighting terrorism with the tools of international law, in particular with international criminal law. This is why in 2015, during my first mandate as minister of foreign affairs, I advanced the initiative to set up an International Court against Terrorism. I am still confident that we can find like-minded states and further reflect on this concept, in order to move this proposal further.

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me also refer, in a few words, to my views on democracies’ role and Romania’s international contribution through the Community of Democracies.
Democracy cherishes diversity, as much as it promotes inclusivity. Thus, democracy defends freedom of expression and any form of peaceful public demonstration; at the same time, democracy pleads for coexistence of diverse opinions, as long as they do not amount to a flagrant denial of historical facts or to hate speech.

Unfortunately, with a growing number of conflicts in many regions of the world in the past years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase of violent extremism. To prevent and combat such condemnable behaviours, the only solution available is to increase inclusivity, to stimulate all political and civic participatory processes, in other words, to increase democratic and societal resilience.

What we need to do is to promote education and democracy literacy for all members of society. Civil society representatives, rightfully supported by Governments, are essential in employing the tools to meet this goal.

I would also like to emphasize, in this context, the direct financial support that the Romanian Presidency of the Community of Democracies has given to the Permanent Secretariat for training projects for promoting democratic principles and values. One of them was organized in July this year, when two in-person training sessions gathered twenty Moroccan youth and civil society participants from different regions in Rabat. The training, having the support of the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Rabita Mohammadia of Ulemas, and the National Human Rights Council of Morocco, focused on Human Rights and Education for Democracy and Countering Narratives to Prevent Radicalization. At the same time, the international scholarship programs currently run by the Government of Romania are instrumental in this respect, with multiple benefits, by offering improved and easier access to higher education, better career goals, increased eligibility on the job market, networking opportunities or interpersonal skills development, but also in fighting radicalization.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This conference is also an excellent opportunity to share good practices. As such, from a national perspective, I am proud to state that, in the current worldwide context, marked by the worrying increase in intolerance, extremism, and radicalization, Romania has continually pleaded for keeping these worrying trends high on the European and international agenda and has strived to act as an example in this matter.

We have adopted, in May this year, the first national Strategy for preventing and combatting antisemitism, xenophobia, radicalisation and incitement to hate speech, which includes 36 main programs that target antisemitism, self-radicalization, violent incidents against members of the Jewish or Roma community. Romania has also been an active supporter in promoting the adoption, this October, of the first European Strategy on Combating Antisemitism and Fostering Jewish Life.

Dear friends,

While we all agree that inclusive democratic participation is key to prevent and counter violent extremism, solidarity, cooperation and efficient multilateralism are of equal importance in order to ensure the security of our citizens and to preserve our democratic values.

Concluding, I convey my gratitude to minister Bourita, for co-hosting this conference.

I assure you that Romania will continue to consolidate the efforts for preventing and countering violent extremism and terrorism, contributing to the international demarches to foster and protect our societies alongside our democratic values and principles. I also reiterate Romania’s commitment to continue, throughout its Presidency, to pursue the goals and values of the Community of Democracies and further support the Community of Democracies in pursuing our common objectives.

I wish you all enriching discussions today and tomorrow.

Thank you!”

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Informaţii suplimentare:

Conferinţa Globală „Participarea democratică incluzivă şi combaterea extremismului violent (Inclusive Democratic Participation to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism)” se desfăşoară în perioada 24-25 noiembrie 2021 şi este organizată de Secretariatul Comunităţii Democraţiilor şi Ministerul Afacerilor Externe al Regatului Maroc, sub înaltul patronaj al Ministerului Afacerilor Externe al României, în calitate de Preşedinţie a Comunităţii Democraţiilor (2019 – 2022). Mai multe informaţii privind agenda evenimentului şi vorbitorii invitaţi pot fi obţinute la următoarea adresă: https://community-democracies.org/globalconference/.

România asigură Preşedinţia Comunităţii Democraţiilor în perioada septembrie 2019 – septembrie 2022. Mandatul României la conducerea CoD, exercitat începând cu 15 septembrie 2019, asumat iniţial pentru perioada 2019-2021, a fost prelungit, la 18 mai 2021, în condiţii excepţionale, în contextul necesităţii asigurării continuităţii şi gestionării eficiente a activităţii CoD, inclusiv ca urmare a faptului că pandemia de COVID-19 a afectat calendarul şi formatul unora dintre activităţile organizaţiei (mai multe informaţii aici – https://www.mae.ro/node/55727).

Asumarea acestei funcţii reflectă angajamentul puternic al României pentru promovarea şi consolidarea valorilor democratice, iar încrederea de care s-a bucurat ţara noastră din partea Comunităţii Democraţiilor demonstrează recunoaşterea eforturilor constante ale României pentru sprijinirea statului de drept şi a drepturilor şi libertăţilor fundamentale. Principalele obiective ale României la Preşedinţia CoD sunt, inter alia, facilitarea implicării tinerilor în procesele democratice, promovarea democraţiei pe plan global, ca unic sistem care garantează prosperitatea şi dezvoltarea durabilă, precum şi relaţia dintre procesele democratice şi tehnologia informaţiei.

La 22 septembrie 2021, în marja segmentului la nivel înalt al Adunării Generale a Organizaţiei Naţiunilor Unite, la New York, ministrul afacerilor externe Bogdan Aurescu a găzduit cea de-a zecea Conferinţă Ministerială a CoD, cel mai important eveniment al Preşedinţiilor Comunităţii Democraţiilor, la care au luat parte peste 50 de vorbitori la nivel înalt (https://www.mae.ro/node/56732). În cadrul acestui eveniment a fost adoptată Declaraţia ministerială de la Bucureşti a Comunităţii Democraţiilor (https://www.mae.ro/sites/default/files/file/anul_2021/2021_pdf/10th_cod_ministerial_declaration.pdf). Reuniunea ministerială precedentă a Comunităţii Democraţiilor a avut loc în 2017 la Washington, în timpul Preşedinţiei SUA a CoD.

Comunitatea Democraţiilor, înfiinţată în anul 2000, la iniţiativa SUA, prin semnarea de către 106 state a Declaraţiei de la Varşovia, este cea mai amplă platformă de dezbatere şi schimb de experienţă pe tema democraţiei la nivel global.

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