Chairmans conclusions; The Hague 24 October 2007

 

           The conference showed the urgent need for a platform for continued consultations on countering radicalisation; also transregional.

 

           To counter radicalisation it is key to promote the rule of law, also conducive to the “de-legitimisation” of the use of violence by (groups of) citizens. This also includes countering the instigation of violence via the internet and other media, as well as in educational and religious institutions.

 

           Societal efforts are needed to prevent radicalisation that may lead to the use of violence and the threat thereof.

These efforts have to be supported by authorities at the national, the regional and the local level. The approaches chosen have to take into account the local historical and cultural contexts, which leads to a diversity in approaches. Useful lessons can be learned:

 

           There is a need for a research agenda for the analyses of factors contributing to radicalisation, factors contributing to de-radicalisation and the examination of methods for assessments of success and failure factors with reference to historical examples.

 

           There is a need for international exchange of knowledge and expertise on radicalisation as well as strategies and best practices for countering it. Cooperation is not only needed between national governments, but also between local authorities in different countries and in different regions

 

           It requires a platform for a wide spectrum of voices and ideas, facilitating an open discourse, mutual support and trust.

 

           The international community is called upon to continue lo invest in conflict resolution, to contribute to post-conflict peacebuilding, and to work for democracy and the rule of law. This includes support to civil society organisations working for conflict resolution, tolerance, respect for human rights, and all interpretations of political and religious teaching that aims at de-escalation and a positive agenda for a common way forward.

 

           Constructive research of Islam in modernity is needed, as well as the interrelation between Islam and democracy, supporting all efforts to promote the democratic interpretation of Islam on the basis of which resistance to violent interpretations of religious teachings can be developed and religious tolerance can be fostered. The West should not claim to be the sole to define how lo put democracy into practice. Each country culture and religion has to find the way forward lo harmonize diversity with unity, respecting justice and the rule of law. Substantial effort need to be made to foster a mutual self-critical approach.

 

           Preventing radicalisation requires respect for different cultures and roots. Respect for basic human rights and cultural and religious diversity are key. There is no contradiction between the two. This requires respect for minorities, minority opinions and their representatives and the promotion of social processes aimed at the peaceful integration of minorities.

 

           In this world of globalisation integration of minorities supposes the right balance between identification with the place, city, country where people live (citizenship) and the roots where people carne from; including acceptance of “trans-national” citizenship.

 

           Globalisation also requires specific attention for the development of a modus vivendi with the Islam at all levels including geo-political attention for the future of the relations in the Middle-East and the position of the Arab countries in the international arena, this includes the need to avoid (the perception of) double standards.

 

           The conference calls on relevant multilateral institutions to support national governments in all the above areas by promoting research, the formulation of national and local counter radicalisation policies or action plans, international exchange, and other activities to resisting radicalisation.

 

           The conference appreciates the activities already undertaken by the OIC, UN, EU and the OSCE in the field of countering incitement to terrorism including the use of the Internet for terrorist purposes and in promoting the empowerment of positive voices as important aspects of addressing radicalisation and would welcome a continued OIC, TJN and the OSCE involvement in the follow-up to this conference and other related activities.

 

           While addressing radicalisation we need to avoid alienation and controversies by developing terminology that fosters dialogue and mutual understanding.

 

           While acknowledging that conditions and situations may vary throughout the world we nevertheless need to underline the universality of common values (e.g.: human rights, justice and respect, and good governance).

 

           While countering radicalisation we recognize the relevance of communication through the media with the ambition lo develop a robust media-strategy including attention for Internet.

 

           An effective approach to countering radicalisation requires a positive agenda with perspectives for future generations.

 

           Conclusion side event 1 local approach: A broad-based approach on countering terrorism and combating radicalisation is needed at a local level. This involves general and specific prevention and intervening at individual level as well. Building expertise and a strong information position is necessary lo be effective as a municipality.

 

           Conclusions side event 2 countering radicalisation in practice: Intervening at the local level to counter radicalisation requires a long term approach lo built mutual trust. II also includes investing in citizenship skills and offering a perspective for a hopeful future.