Arab League Strategy to counter terrorism by Sumaiya Sayyid
03:17 PM Feb, 27 2015
My Library at SudaneseOnline
By an initiative from the Arab League and the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs, the conference on regional security and challenges facing Arab states was hosted in Cairo with a participation from a number of research and strategic studies centers in several Arab countries. The conference on regional security and challenges discussed some work papers and listened to views and ideas of a panel of experts in this field. The conference on regional security and challenges came up with a memo that will be submitted to the assembly of Arab league summit due to be held in Cairo on 24th,March which is going to focus primarily on the expansion of terrorism in the Arab states.
Last Tuesday, Arab league Secretary-General Nabil Al arabi addressing the opening session hinted at the growing phenomenon of terrorism and the repercussion of threats posed by terrorist organizations on Arab national security and the potentialities of setting up a joint defense security system and the importance of seeking a resolution to the conflict in the Arab region.
The conference on regional security and challenges felt the risks that threaten the Arab countries especially the re-formation of political systems in some territories of the Arab region and the emergence of terrorist organizations that committed the most heinous acts in the aftermath of Arab spring. In this regard, one of the conference papers referred to the most significant causes and motives of terrorism summing up in the education, social up-bringing of being superior and rejecting others, distorted religious fanatical speeches that incite hatred ,illiteracy, ignorance, poverty and the growing role of effective forces either nations or groups that stoke extremism. The conference spoke of the necessity of religious institutions tackling the concepts that promote among the young the perverted interpretation of Jihad or holy war, the apostasy, the status of a woman, the negative impact of inherited social conventions and the cultural values that yielded social and cultural distortion.
The paper appealed for an innovation, a genuine knowledge of sharia ,the requirements of the era and compatibility to the conventions of human rights, the review of laws for the release of thought and creativity in the society, benefiting from the on-line publishing to restrict extremism, the unification of curriculum to prevent the dual system of civic and religious education and the promotion of school libraries
In the media field, concentrating on urging mass media institutions to a bide by the ethical and professional codes and refraining from fanatic speech, the launch of an Arab initiative to revise the moral and professional criteria and enactment of legislations that prohibit the dissemination of information that incites hatred and violence. The debaters urged the Arab league to lead an initiative to face terrorism and constitutes one of the aspects of joint Arab work for the future of the Arab region. The conference discussed the virtual threats posed by terrorist organizations to the regional Arab security and the factors of their recent increase and expansion. Inside the hall of the Arab league, researchers and those concerned explored the prospect of creating joint Arab security defense system as well as preparation of a comprehensive strategy to confront religious extremism in the region. The conference also deliberated on the non-proliferation treaty and establishment of mass destruction weapons free zone and the available choices as no relevant convention has been held. In addition, there was a discussion of that conference on nuclear disarmament convened in Geneva that it has failed to make a tangible progress in stripping of nuclear weapons and the joint Arab stance toward the failure of efforts to control nuclear arms a round the world.
The final session of the Arab regional security conference produced a memorandum of understanding that stressed the challenges that Arab states have combated since the beginning of third millennium are related to the public policies including the bases of governance, the slowness of economic growth, the decline of education standard ,culture and values including social justice and good governance . All that subscribed to structural communitarian disorder that provoked discontent among the people and the retreat of humane and social interaction that ushered into religious and intellectual extremism.
The memorandum of regional security challenges affirmed the rise of terrorism and its wide scale operations that threaten the regional and universal security by seizing parts of Arab lands where its set up of an integrated system cancel the institutions of a state lending a new dimension. The memorandum also indicated that the charter of Arab League, the treaty of joint defense and additional protocols constitute a legal source and a legislative framework conducive to the Arab collective work to protect their state's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The memorandum called for activating of agreements and treaties and finding out flexible formula or mechanisms to reach a consensus on mechanism for coordination of their respective defense policies and that involves working together for the safety of community and the defeat of the devastating project of terrorism.
According to the conference on regional security the pre-eminent challenge is to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict in the region particularly in Iraq,Syria,Libya and Yemen where the sectarian violence is aggravated and terrorist organizations found a safe haven.
I have observed that fighting terrorism is a national concern since our arrival with a group of journalists from the Nile Basin Countries and subsequent official meetings that started with the ambassador Samih Shukri and his remark focused on countering terrorism. Our meeting with the Egyptian president came two days after the painful event of Islamic state militants execution of Egyptian Coptic nationals in Libya. Apparently, Egypt is trying to extend its strategy to combat terrorism in the coming Arab summit on 24th of March. Will Egypt succeed in the involvement of Arabs by turning the fight against terrorism as mutual Arab concern? That will be outcome of next summit.
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