Seminar “Challenging the dominant discourse and developing alternatives” in Jordan

The Observatory for the Prevention of Violent Extremism organized in Amman (Jordan) the conference “Challenging the dominant discourse and developing alternatives” on April 2, 2017 at the Hotel Le Royal. Their organization has been a joint effort between NOVACT and various Jordanian civil society organizations such as ARDD (Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development), West and East Centre for Human Development, Leaders of Tomorrow and The Jordanian National Commission for Women.

This conference aims to present the efforts to incorporate Jordanian civil society into the work of preventing violent extremism, in a country like Jordan, key actor in the complexity of Middle Eastern conflicts. Government lines of work will be discussed with the participation of members of the Ministry of Culture and Against Terrorism, such as the National Commission for Women, as well as the work of official bodies such as the United Nations or the European Union. Key concepts for the prevention of violent extremism from civil society will then be presented by presenting the “Barcelona Action Plan” and finally discussed among the various Jordanian civil society organizations responsible for organizing this conference on how this action plan should be incorporated and adapted in the Jordanian civil society.

This initiative was launched in January 2017, when more than 320 representatives of 172 civil society organizations from 22 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region met in Barcelona. In “Toward a New Paradigm: Preventing Violent Extremism”, we worked on the constructive contribution of the prevention of violent extremism, from civil society organizations and based on the lessons learned in the last decades and the challenges that lie ahead.

From this Conference it was drawn up the “Euro-Mediterranean Civil Society Action Plan to Prevent All Forms of Violent Extremism”, which reflects the main conclusions of the Barcelona Conference. It is also an opportunity for all actors in the Euro-Mediterranean community to unite and adjust their actions with inclusive approaches against division, intolerance and hate speech. This Action Plan represents an unprecedented effort to reconcile the vision of civil society in the North and South of the Mediterranean. We believe that only a real and honest transnational partnership can help us establish an effective way to prevent all forms of violent extremism.

Subsequently, a series of seminars have been initiated in various Euro-Mediterranean regions with organizations participating in the Barcelona Conference and in drafting the action plan. The seminar “Building Resilience and Alternative Narratives: Towards a Tunisian Action Plan to Prevent Violent Extremism” was held in Tunis in February. The National Action Plan was set out in Tunisia to identify steps taken by The Tunisian civil society in the prevention of extremist violence. In March, a seminar was held in Palestine (Birzeit University): “Analysis of the paradigm of the prevention of violent extremism from the UN proposals”, that from the UN approach the nature of Current efforts to prevent violent extremism in this country, exploring conditions that ensure that human rights are not being violated, including the right of Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation in accordance to the international law, and to the right to self-determination.