The international conference “Fighting Terrorism and the Need of Security Culture” held on the 28th of May 2015, in Bucharest, was organized by the Middle East Political and Economic Institute (MEPEI) with the support of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Romania and EURISC Foundation (European Institute for Risk, Security& Communication Management), and in partnership with the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).
The event benefited from the impressive contribution of high officials and experts from Romania and internationals altogether.
The conference was structured in four main sessions of discussion, distinguished by the diversity of the issues debated and gathered a community of representative accredited diplomatic members of the missions to Romania, personalities of the Romanian public institutions, NGOs, academia (students and professors), think tanks (researchers and analysts), business persons, and mass-media, all with a particular interest for the topic presented.
The purpose of the event was to show commitment to rejecting all forms of violence and, notably, terrorism, this being a particular genre of acts based on extremism. The conference wanted to highlight the need to protect human rights which is encompassed in the principles and rules of international law, founded on cooperation among people in order to achieve peace.
In the official opening session, keynote speakers were the representatives of the Romanian government and public institution such as Mr. Costin MIHALACHE, Adviser of the Prime-Minister of Romania and Mr. Valentin FILIP, Adviser of the Deputy Director, the Romanian Intelligence Service, Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA, The President of MEPEI, Mr. Liviu MUREȘAN, The Executive President of EURISC, as well as representatives of the accredited diplomatic missions in Romania and international guests as HE Mr. Hamid MOAYYER, The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Romania and Mr. Jason WISEMAN, The Secretary General of the Atlantic Treaty Association. They underlined the importance of the conference in the attempt to explain the strong impact that extremist movements have on the evolution and transformation of the nowadays societies.
During the first panel session the conference proposed to participants, topics related to the aspects of the issue of terrorism in the frame of a new security environment, being constantly highlighted the increased number of terrorist attacks since the 11th of September 2001. The setting settled afterwards and the new directions of Western politics and strategies to combat the virulent development of the phenomenon of terrorism are still representing a struggle for the international community in order to coordinate and synchronize its gestures. Moderators were Mr. Liviu MUREȘAN, The Executive President of EURISC and Maj. Gen. Bal Krishan SHARMA, AVSM, SM & Bar (Retd), The Deputy Director (Research) and Head of Centre for Strategic Studies and Simulation, the United Service Institute of India. The speakers’ interventions’ were represented by Mr. Mostafa ZAHRANI, The Director General of IPIS, Mr. Andrin Jerome Nevis RAJ, SEA The Regional Director for the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals – Centre for Security Studies and Director for Centre Strata Asia-Pacific Strategic Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Mr. Kayhan BARZEGAR, Director of Institute for Middle East Strategic Studies (IMESS), Mr. Alexandru CUMPĂNAȘU, The Executive Director of Association for Implementing Democracy (AID), Bucharest, Mr. Jason WISEMAN, The Secretary General, Atlantic Treaty Association, Mr. Abdoulaye MAIGA, The Analyst at the Alert and Prevention Unit of the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) / African Union, Alger, and put in light a series of analyses and reports related to violent terrorist organizations which gave birth to serious problems of security and power. The discussions focused on the means to create a new security framework, one that could successfully show resistance to harmful extremist acts and forms of violence.
Next, the conference focused on the youth radicalization phenomenon that emerged as a complementary and inherent part of the great threat of terrorist and extremist actions. The Arab Spring, the Islamic Youth radicalizations were central components of the panel’s discussion, analyzed in the light of globalization. As a moderator, Mr. Mostafa ZAHRANI, The Director General of IPIS and the distinguished speakers like Mr. Seyyed Vahid KARIMI, The Director of Center for Europe of IPIS, Mr. Emiliano STORNELLI, The Director of the Mediterranean and Middle East Program, Italian Atlantic Committee, and Scientific Coordinator of the Mediterranean-Gulf Forum, Rome, Italy, Mrs. Andreea-Paula IBĂNESCU, Program Manager and Researcher at MEPEI and Ms. Antonia COLIBĂȘANU, Partner – Regional Director Eurasia, Stratfor and Associate Lecturer at University of Bucharest, tried to exposed their standpoints concerning causes and effects of radicalization between youngsters – such a delicate issue that takes proportions in our days- and gave attention to the social and economic factors, considered determinant for attracting a considerable number of young people even from the West who embrace the fanatics in faith of the Islamic Ideal (from their viewpoint). We cannot understand the core philosophy of terrorism unless we take into consideration the socio-economic and cultural impulses.
The event continued with another interrelated topic – The Role of Cyber Security in the Diffusion and Combat of Asymmetric Threats. During this session, the dialog exhibited the efforts to stress the existence of other types of asymmetric threats excepting terrorism, for example human traffic, drug dealing, nuclear and chemical weapons. These so called asymmetric threats could be combated through the means of cyber security, but without ignoring the permanent need of improving it. Moderators were Gen. Constantin DEGERATU, former chief of the Romanian General Staff, Mr. Jason WISEMAN, Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA and Mr. Kayhan BARZEGAR. They were followed by Mr. Andrin Jerome Nevis RAJ, and Mr. Daniel IONIȚĂ, Head of Analyses, Policies and Legal Affairs Department at CERT-RO (Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team), Bucharest, who identified in their keynote speeches means to diminish the extensive threats against the international security, for example with the help of an accurate system of surveillance.
Mr. Kayhan BARZEGAR, Maj. Gen. Bal Krishan SHARMA, Mr. Seyyed Vahid KARIMI, Germano DOTTORI, Professor of Geopolitical and Strategic Studies at Luiss University of Rome, Italy, and Mr. Abdoulaye MAIGA held speeches in support of the next subject of the conference, called Security Culture – International and National Experiences. All of them sustained the embodiment of a new model of security culture with long term results. But even so, they confronted difficulties when it comes to solutions to implement a coherent structure of security. The roots of the problems must be searched within complex cultural and educational systems and values, and it has to be initiated a strong counter-arguments to help reform and rebirth of the Muslim states.
The final remarks and conclusions were resumed by the moderators Mr. Flavius CABA-MARIA and Mr. Seyyed Vahid KARIMMI and by the esteemed speakers Mr. Liviu MUREȘAN, Mr. Mostafa ZAHRANI, Mr. Germano DOTTORI, and Gen. Bal Krishan SHARMA. Thus, it comes clear that terrorism is becoming a more violent threat against global peace and security, increasing and diversifying its actions and strategies of fighting the Western foes. This is why the actors of international milieu must enhance their capacity of responding efficiently to the security crisis determined by terrorist acts and redefine all their political instruments.