IIJ – Antalya Diplomacy Forum Virtual Event on Counter-Terrorism Efforts Under Pandemic Conditions
In October, the IIJ co-hosted with Turkey’s Antalya Diplomacy Forum a very successful Virtual Event on Counter-Terrorism Efforts under Pandemic Conditions. The timely event featured a formidable panel of foreign ministers: H.H. Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Al Sabah (Kuwait), Hon. Mr. Evarist Bartolo (Malta), H.E. Mr. Stef Blok (The Netherlands), and H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu (Turkey). The IIJ is proud to have all four of the participating foreign ministries represented on its Governing Board of Administrators.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu opened proceedings, outlining a myriad of challenges precipitated and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, including pressures on global economies and radicalisation to violence, and the need to address these challenges through enhanced international cooperation. Minister for Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Malta Evarist Bartolo noted that the COVID-19 pandemic was providing an opportunity for terrorist organisations to evolve and employ new methods to take advantage of the pandemic. He warned of the potential risk for the economic crisis precipitated by the pandemic to develop into a security crisis.
Underlining that the pandemic is far from over, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Stef Blok warned that the pandemic is also impacting strategic relations at the international level. He noted the concerning rise in far-right extremism, and described the Netherlands’ dual approach to combating terrorism, which is based on both preventive and reactive measures.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Dr Ahmad Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah reiterated Kuwait’s role and contribution in combating terrorism, which centred largely on its efforts within the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. Dr. Al Sabah provided an overview of Kuwait’s efforts to enhance awareness of extremism, and the roles of education, the media and rehabilitation in addressing this threat. He underscored the importance of a shared understanding of responsibility and engagement in combatting terrorism and the repatriation of foreign fighters.
A recording of the event is available here: bit.ly/3g3gQux