Workshop for North Africa promotes the implementation of resolution 1624
Three-day meeting in Algiers underlines the commitment of States and civil society to prevent incitement to commit terrorist acts.
The demanding quest for security and the urgency of keeping citizens safe has the risk of failing to address the underlying roots of violence. The terrorism threat oftentimes stretches some States' limited resources, which could be invested in social and economic development. Finding the balance between terrorism prevention, effective law enforcement, and respect for human rights is equally challenging for developed countries.
In order to break the cycle of violence generated by multiple factors, including deeply-rooted economic or social failings, Governments and civil society at large are called upon to find a common vision to address incitement to commit terrorist acts, as well as extremism and intolerance that may lead to violence.
It is in this spirit that Security Council resolution 1624 was adopted in 2005. The resolution calls upon States to prohibit and prevent incitement. It also urges States to continue international efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding among civilizations, and to counter incitement motivated by extremism and intolerance. This suggests that a comprehensive approach that brings together Governments and civil society can be effective in preventing acts of terrorism, violent extremism and incitement. In its preamble, resolution 1624 stresses the importance of the role of the media, civil and religious society, the business community and educational institutions "in efforts to enhance dialogue and broaden understanding, and in promoting tolerance and coexistence, and in fostering an environment which is not conducive to incitement of terrorism."
CTED recently sought to further develop this comprehensive approach to the threat of incitement in a regional workshop that took place in Algiers from 16 to 18 June 2013. Attendees included representatives from the governments of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, plus members of inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations from all across North Africa. The workshop was co-organized with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague, with the cooperation of the Government of Algeria, and was made possible by the financial support of the Government of the Netherlands.
The meeting was successful in promoting the frank exchange of views between the representatives of governments and civil society on the best strategies to prohibit and prevent incitement, through both legal measures that respect human rights, as well as steps to address the social conditions that could be conducive to the spread of terrorism. Particular attention was paid to the question of mechanisms that could be established at the national and regional levels to ensure that such dialogue continues on a regular basis. Edward J. Flynn, Senior Human Rights Officer at CTED, explained that these regional meetings "can play a practical role in enhancing the tri-partite dialogue between the United Nations, Member States, and civil society on the effective implementation of Resolution 1624". Previous regional meetings on the resolution have been held in Tashkent (2010), Nairobi (2011), and Rabat (2012).