Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 05/2008

Co-chairmen's report of brainstorming "Implementing the un general assembly's counter-terrorism strategy: addressing youth radicalisation in the Mediterranean region. Lessons learned, best practices and recommendations"

July 2007

Istituto Affari Internazionali


The Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) and the Center for Global Counter Terrorism Co­ operation (Center) convened a brainstorming on 11­-12 July in Rome on ''Implementing the UN General Assembly's Counter­-Terrorism Strategy: Addressing Youth Radicalisation in the Mediterranean Region. Lessons Learned, Best Practices and Recommendations.'' The event was organised in co­operation with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Centro Studi sul Federalismo (Turin), with the support of the Compagnia di San Paolo. The participants included experts from the UN and other multilateral bodies, officials from the Italian and German governments, and academic and other non­government experts from the United States, Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The meeting also included a roundtable of representatives of the ''Consulta Giovanile per il Pluralismo Religioso e Culturale'' (Youth Consultative Council), a youth advisory board recently established by the Italian Ministries of Youth and Sport and Interior to enhance the role of youth in promoting dialogue and tolerance among different cultures and religions. The Rt. Hon. Giovanna Melandri, the Italian Minister for Youth Policies and Sport addressed the brainstorming.

Discussion focused on identifying proposals to address effectively the factors that may contribute to or affect violent radicalisation processes in the Mediterranean region, particularly among youth. The phenomenon of youth radicalisation in the region has caused some degree of concern and alarm and has raised important questions with regard to how policies can be made more effective to reduce this trend. With the aim of building consensus and fostering implementation of a coordinated response by national governments to this phenomenon, the brainstorming participants were invited to exchange regional, national, and local experiences and identify and share best practices on five key thematic issues: 1) the impact of media and the Internet on the spreading of youth radicalisation; 2) radicalisation and education; 3) unemployment and radicalisation; 4) prisons as a radicalisation­conducive environment; and 5) women, the family and the social environment.