Global Conference on Inclusive Democratic Participation to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism

24-25 November 2021, Rabat, Morocco

Concluding Remarks by Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett


Excellencies, Governing Council members, distinguished speakers and guests.

Let me conclude this conference by thanking our expert speakers for their insights and ideas and thank our keynote speaker for her very informative intervention.

The Conference’s main aim was to provide a platform to discuss challenges which create extremism and identify good practices in preventing and extremism through inclusive democratic participation.

Like me, I am sure that during the conference you learned more about the multivectored approach of Morocco to this issue.

Together with the two associated training sessions that took place in July 2021,  funded by Romanian AID, in this conference we discussed the means of providing youth with the necessary skills to help counter the scourges of violent extremism, both online and offline, and the means of immunizing the youth against hate speeches.

I would like to underline that extremism is often a direct effect of an erosion of democratic standards.

This threat exists all over the globe – and is worsening  in those places where democracy is regressing, human rights are disregarded, and rule of law is neglected.

In this regard let me draw your attention to the Community of Democracies’ founding document – the Warsaw Declaration, which constitutes one of the most complete and coherent outlines of the functions of democracy.

Its principles define the essential practices and norms for the effective establishment and consolidation of democracy.  To counter extremism, we must foster all 19 principles of the Warsaw Declaration and its message of democratic participation.

A key partner to governments in this initiative is Civil society and I thank them for their participation in this conference.

Civil Society is a fundamental part of democracy and has an important role in the promotion and protection of human rights and the rule of law, essential to the functioning and sustainability of democratic societies.

In this connection a vibrant civil society and active and conscious citizenry provide the first line of defense against violent extremism.

In the Community of Democracies we know that the best way to strengthen democratic institutions and principles is by

  • promoting discussion,
  • exchanging experiences and identifying best practices.

This collaboration makes us a community; we cooperate, learn together, share common values, and encourage each other to uphold these principles.

That is why I am  very happy that the Kingdom of Morocco,  Romania and the Community of Democracies joined  to organize this event.

In concluding, I would like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to Foreign Minister of Kingdom of Morocco H.E. Mr. Nasser Bourita for hosting this Conference.

I would also like to express my most sincere appreciation to the current Presidency of the Community of Democracies – Romania, represented here by H.E. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, for Romania’s high patronage of the event and its long and sustained commitment to the Community of Democracies.

Excellencies, Governing Council members, representatives of civil society,  distinguished guests and colleagues, let me express my hope that the last two days of the global Conference were fruitful for you and substantially expanded your knowledge regarding prevention on violent extremism.

Thank you and best wishes for the remainder of 2021 and our best hopes for you in 2022.