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Slovenia encouraged OSCE Mediterranean Partners to implement the recommendations of OSCE "Malaga Decalogue"

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Žvokelj, Permanent Representative of Slovenia to the International Organizations in Vienna, at the meeting of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Co-operation Group “Youth Participation and Engagement to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism and Radicalization that Lead to Terrorism (VERLT)”, Vienna, 14 September 2020

Dear Madame Chairperson,

Let me at the outset thank to Sweden for organizing this third meeting of the OSCE Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation Group and all the panelists for their interesting inputs. It contributes to keeping the OSCE an important forum for dialogue and confidence-building in Europe’s southern neighborhood, needed because security of both, Europe and Mediterranean, is closely interlinked.

For Slovenia, as one of the Mediterranean countries, our cooperation is of utmost importance, also in the area of preventing radicalization and encouraging youth participation.

Radicalization of young people is a process of transforming or building an individual's or group's perceptions, beliefs, values and behavior towards political attitudes and behaviors that justify the use of undemocratic means and unlawful violence.

That is why we have to work on the activities to increase awareness and knowledge of how to detect violent radicalization, provide timely identification, correct understanding and appropriate response to prevent violent radicalization through coordinated activities of police, judiciary, prisons, health, education, social media, local communities and NGOs.

We are firmly convinced that the prevention of such radicalization, especially with younger people, is possible only with holistic, cross-sectoral and horizontal approach to youth by relevant stakeholders. And, especially now in the times of COVID 19 and quarantine, we have to put special emphasis to do this through internet and other digital formats, through planned programs and awareness campaigns.

Slovenia is trying to increase the media literacy among young in our country and abroad for them to be able to critically differentiate among information and to appropriately respond to the attempts of the radicalization in media space.

As both, terrorism and radicalism have strong international character, we continue to pay the utmost attention to the early detection and prevention of radicalization leading to terrorism and violent extremism abroad, including through Union for the Mediterranean and our initiative of Positive Agenda for the Youth of Mediterranean, both contributing to active involvement of youth into the political process.

In December 2019, Slovenia also adopted the new National Strategy for the Prevention of Terrorism and Violent Extremism to promote targeted and comprehensive response to the terrorism threats and radicalization.

All mentioned initiatives and work done in Slovenia and abroad contribute to the implementation of the already mentioned »OSCE Malaga Decalogue« from 2017 and we encourage all participants to follow those recommendations to help increase resilience of youth to VERLT in the OSCE area and the Mediterranean Partners for Cooperation.

Thank you, Madame Chairperson.