Strategic Foresight Group collaborated with the UN Alliance of Civilizations to convene a panel discussion on 'Constructing Peace, Deconstructing Terror' at the 7th UNAOC Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan on 26-27th April 2016. The panelists were:
1. Mr Novruz Mammadov, Chief Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Azerbaijan
2. Mr. Egemen Bagis, former Minister for EU Affairs of Turkey and Member of Parliament
3. The Rt. Hon. Lord Alderdice, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Parliament
4. Dr Nasharudin Mat Isa, Chief Executive, Global Movement of Moderates Foundation and former Member of Parliament of Malaysia
5. Mr. Jean-Yves Ollivier, Chairman of Brazzaville Foundation for Peace and Conservation
6. Mr. Samir Barhoum, Editor in Chief, The Jordan Times
7. Dr. Sundeep Waslekar, President, Strategic Foresight Group (Moderator)
With this panel discussion, the Strategic Foresight Group revived its dialogue process between Western and Islamic countries on Deconstructing Terror, almost 10 years after it had hosted a number of round tables and published reports on the subject.
The panel discussion at Baku made the following key observations:
• The international system centred on the United Nations is inadequate in implementing the rule of law on equal and fair basis and resolving conflicts. It is necessary to review the institutional structures of the United Nations, including the Security Council. It is also necessary for all countries to commit financial resources and peacekeeping forces to the UN.
• It is important to have dialogue at various levels, primarily between governments but also with non-state actors. However, in order for dialogue to be meaningful, it is critical to understand the position of various parties. It is also important to listen to opposite perspectives and to address the psychological drivers of violence.
• International law and dialogue may not work with regards to organisations such as Daesh (ISIS) and Boko Haram which do not believe in the very idea of state, and which are present in different forms in different parts of the world. In order to deal with such an organisation, it is first of all required to understand it thoroughly and deeply. Such an understanding is currently missing in the world.
SFG also had bilateral meetings with Mr Mevlut Cavosuglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey; Mr Samad Seyidov, Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Azerbaijan; and several other leaders.
About 2000 delegates from 140 countries participated in the UNAOC Global Forum in Baku.
To watch the full panel discussion, please click on this video link to the Web TV of the United Nations: