18-19 March 2013
Under the high patronage of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan: ISESCO to hold International Conference on Strengthening Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) jointly with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) will hold the International Conference on “Strengthening Cooperation in Preventing Terrorism” in Baku, on 18-19 March 2013, under the high patronage of Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Conference will seek to initiate an in-depth and forward-looking exchange of views on challenges and opportunities for preventing and countering terrorism, and help to better understand the root causes of terrorism and generate ideas for countering stereotypes and misconceptions that deepen patterns of mistrust and hostility between societies. The Conference will also aim to generate concrete ideas and project-proposals for providing technical assistance to national authorities by the UNODC and other members of the Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force (CTITF) with the view of strengthening their capacities to prevent and combat terrorism, and provide fresh impetus to dialogue among cultures and foster Alliance of Civilizations. Other objectives include contributing to improvement of understanding by the West of Islam and its values and facilitating the correction of distorted perceptions of the West in the societies with Muslim majority.
The Conference will focus on three main themes: cooperation in developing and undertaking measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism; dialogue, understanding and countering stereotypes and the appeal of terrorism; and the role of international partners in building State capacity to prevent and combat terrorism.
Under these themes, the participants will discuss such issues as development and social inclusion; preventing and resolving conflict; supporting victims of terrorism; dialogue among cultures and Alliance of Civilizations, and their role in countering terrorism; cooperation in adopting measures to prohibit incitement to commit an act of terrorism; countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes; technical assistance in drafting relevant legislature and training judges, prosecutors, investigators on issues of counter-terrorism; and measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law in the context of counter-terrorism.
The Conference will be attended by a host of ministers of foreign affairs, the interior and justice from the Muslim world and beyond, heads of international organizations (the General Secretariat of the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the League of Arab States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Center for Internet Security), parliamentarians, religious leaders, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and international experts on counter-terrorism, human rights and law.
It is worth mentioning that Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, ISESCO Director General, will participate in this conference and will give an address at its opening session.
- Following the adoption of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy by the United Nations’ General Assembly in September 2006 (GA resolution 60/88), the international community has made considerable progress in preventing and combating terrorism. During the past six years the national governments and their international partners made considerable progress in strengthening the legislative basis and practical cooperation in this important area. The comprehensive framework established by the Global Strategy has been an effective catalyst for building partnerships and overcoming distorted perceptions and damaging stereotypes. The commitment and solidarity was reconfirmed by international partners during the review by the General Assembly of the Global Strategy with resolutions 62/272 and 64/297 in 2008 and 2010 respectively, as well as by other international fora, such as the International Conference held in Tunis, Tunisia in September 2007, jointly convened by the United Nations and OIC/ISESCO.
However, it is clear that during the past few years terrorism has continued to evolve, adjusted and manifested itself in the most violent forms in countries and regions, that had been previously considered immune from this dangerous phenomenon. It became as clear as ever that terrorism is a global menace which does not recognize national borders and is not associated with any religion or community. The very short timeframe of the past two years was marked by dramatic and deep political changes in several countries of the Middle East as well as other regions that are associated with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This has opened the opportunity for unprecedented democratic transformation, strengthening respect for human rights and addressing political, social and other grievances that accumulated for decades. However, abrupt and fast changes that often had been marked by violence contain the danger of spreading terrorism as the means for setting old feuds and achieving political and economic objectives. Unstable structures of state power could result in lawlessness, which could easily be exploited by terrorist groups. These challenges make imperative reconfirmation of political commitment by the new authorities to prevent terrorism and combat it were it is needed. It also obliges the international partners to step up the provision of multifaceted assistance to national authorities, strengthening cooperation and coordination in counteracting terrorism.
Objectives of the Conference
- initiate in-depth and forward looking exchange of views on challenges and opportunities presented by the “Arab Spring” for preventing and countering terrorism;
help to better understand the root causes of terrorism and generate ideas for countering stereotypes and misconceptions that deepen patterns of mistrust and hostility between societies;
generate concrete ideas and project-proposals for providing technical assistance to national authorities by UNODC and other members of CTITF with the view of strengthening their capacities to prevent and combat terrorism;
provide fresh impetus to dialogue among cultures and foster Alliance of Civilizations;
help to outreach to large Muslim constituencies to promote a culture of peace, dialogue, tolerance that is not compatible with incitement of terrorism;
contribute to improvement of understanding by the West of Islam and its values and facilitate correcting of distorted perceptions of the West in the societies with Muslim majority.
Main themes of the Conference and its structure
- It is suggested that the Conference should focus on the three main broad themes:
1) cooperation in developing and undertaking measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.
This broad topic could cover such issues as:
a) development and social inclusion;
b) preventing and resolving conflict;
c) supporting victims of terrorism.
2) dialogue, understanding and countering stereotypes and the appeal of terrorism. This main theme may prompt discussion of the following topics:
a) dialogue among cultures and Alliance of Civilizations, and their role in countering terrorism;
b) cooperation in adopting measures to prohibit incitement to commit an act of terrorism;
c) countering the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.
3) the role of international partners in building State capacity to prevent and combat terrorism. The above theme may include the following topics :
a) technical assistance in drafting relevant legislature and training judges, prosecutors, investigators on issues of counter-terrorism
b) measures to ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law in the context of counter-terrorism.
The Conference should start by an opening plenary session during which senior officials of the host country, United Nations, OIC/ISESCO, Head of regional international organizations will make their statements. The consideration of all the topics enlisted above should be in the format of a plenary session, with each of the three major themes introduces by a statement of eminent key-note speakers and each of the subtopics presented by a statement of an expert in the field. The follow-up discussion would be arranged in accordance with a list of speakers comprised by the Secretariat of the Conference. Each of the three plenary sessions would be moderated by an expert in the field considered by the specific session. The proceedings of the Conference and its substantive outcome would be recorded in the Chairman’s note, which would not require prior concurrence of the partiers of the Conference before its release. The composition of the podium and other protocol aspects of the Conference would be agreed upon by the co-organizers from UNODC and ISESCO as well as protocol service of the Host country. Protocol events and cultural programmes for the participants will also be coordinated by co-organizers and protocol services of the Host country.
Date and Venue
- The Conference will take place in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan, 18-19 March 2013.
- The working languages of the Conference would be Arabic, French, English, Russian and Azeri. Co-organizers will ensure simultaneous interpretation of all sessions.
- The Conference would be at ministerial level and relevant invitations would be dispatched under signatures of Director- General of UNODC and Director- General of ISESCO.
Heads of International Organizations (EU, OIC, OSCE, LAS, NATO, CIS), parliamentarians, religious leaders, representatives of non-governmental organizations, international experts on counter-terrorism, human rights and law could also be invited.