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Executive Secretary Discusses with Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina Combating Violent Extremism

Beirut, Lebanon

“Violent extremism walks in when shared society withdraws,” said former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and member of “Club de Madrid”  Zlatko Lagumdzija, who paid a visit to the UN House in Beirut on 29 May 2017, and met with Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Mohamed Ali Alhakim. The meeting was attended by ESCWA Deputy Executive Khawla Mattar and Director of ESCWA Emerging and Conflict-related Issues Division Tarek Alami as well as “Club de Madrid” Senior Program Officer Maram Anbar.
Following his discussions with Alhakim, Lagumdzija spoke to the ESCWA Communication and Information Unit (ECIU) about a project led by the “Club de Madrid”, a forum of former presidents and prime ministers from around the world. The project, implemented in cooperation with the European Union and the European Commission, deals with preventing violent extremism. It is expected to produce at the end of this year a report with recommendations about how “we should proceed in tackling the violent extremism from the positive narrative. To see how we can approach, especially young people, and how to deal with the very roots and causes of radicalization in different parts of the world,” the former Prime Minister said.  
Lagumdzija also noted that the project, Shared Societies, is “oriented to the ways, tools, creating institutions, promoting the concept and leadership of how to actually make this world more united in diversities; how to share our identities, how to share values and be, of course, citizens but at the same time appreciating everyone else who is different around us.”
On cooperation with ESCWA, Lagumdzija said: “we will exchange our findings with ESCWA. We will also very gladly get some input from ESCWA because you have extraordinary capacity of what you are doing already in this area.” The former Prime Minister remarked, “There is a lot of room of cooperation for all of us (…) We, all together, are much bigger than any problem.”