Meeting Notes - August 31, 2003
Fighting Terrorism for Humanity
International Peace Institute
As Prime Minister Bondevik noted in his conference summation, world leaders highlighted several key issues on which there seemed to be broad consensus
1. While failed states, repressive regimes, foreign occupation and lack of self-determination can be contributing factors to terrorism, no political goal or cause justifies intentionally attacking civilians. Terrorism can never be justified or excused.
2. All member states must reject religious extremism while encouraging greater inter-religious dialogue down to the level of individual congregations in churches, temples and mosques, building on the values and principles that unite them.
3. There must be no trade-off between human rights and terrorism; human rights abuses in fact fuel terrorism, along with misery, ignorance and despair.
4. The UN's programs, its funds and its agencies must do more to explore how it can focus more directly on the roots of terrorism and work harder to resolve festering conflicts that can give rise to acts of terrorism.
5. While there is not a simple, direct, causal link between poverty and terrorism, lack of development, poor governance and a sense of desperation, alienation and hopelessness provide conditions in which terrorism can flourish and which can be exploited by extremists. Peace, security, development and respect for human rights are all essential to combat terrorism.
6. In the education of young people, great emphasis must be placed.
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