Workshop on the Role of Youth against Terrorism and Violent Extremism in the Western Balkans organized by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, with the support of the Embassy of Canada, was held in Podgorica, Montenegro from 19-21 November 2018.
During the 2 days event over 30 young people from across the Western Balkans, learned and discussed with reputable speakers and experts about radicalization and the foreign fighter phenomenon among the youth in the Western Balkans, a specific topic that concerns not only regional, but international security as well.
Through vigorous presentations delivered by renounced speakers, such as Former Islamic extremist Adam Deen, Professor Vlado Azinović, Veselin Veljović – Director of the Police Administration of Montenegro, Archpriest-Stavrophor Boris Brajović, Jessie Hronesova from Akis Strategy and Džemo Redžematović from the Islamic Community of Montenegro, the young participants had a chance to get more thorough insight on what drives the young people to join terrorist organizations, what makes young people to go to foreign battlefields, what is the influence of social media in recruiting people, what are the other mechanisms through which the youth is recruited? How to prevent it? What is the role of youth in positive messaging against violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism? What is the role of universities and religious institutions?
The Atlantic Council of Montenegro and YATA Montenegro recognized that youth is simultaneously the group most vulnerable to violent radicalization and the group that has the greatest potential to prevent and counter it. Knowing that, one of the main objectives was for young people to gain skills and necessary knowledge in recognizing and combating radicalization.
We succeeded in our efforts to encourage significant discussion with a wide range of opinions regarding one of the most important issues in the field of international security.
All of the participants agreed upon that regardless of education, age and class everyone can undergo radicalization, as well as that terrorism and violent extremism are global problems and should not be linked only to one religion or group.
The Workshop has managed to justify high standards set by our events and became the platform for critical discussion among the youth.