Moderation is acceptance and respect. It is about mutual understanding and the celebration of the rich dimensions of diversity. Diversity enriches and strengthens the fabric of life. Acceptance of diversity, more than tolerance, is the key to peaceful co-existence.
History has shown, time and again, that the rejection of moderation or being extreme in any way or form could ignite conflict and discontentment. The end result has been war and untold suffering. Moderation, on the other hand, can mitigate or prevent these from happening. It is imperative therefore that moderation be seen as the bedrock of international relations in this global world where peace, till today, remains an elusive goal.
THE GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF MODERATES
During the United Nations General Assembly on 27 September 2010, the Honourable Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak first mooted the idea of creating a ‘Global Movement of Moderates’ (GMM).
The GMM concept has received world-wide acclaim with a declaration of full support from the Secretary General of United Nations, H.E. Ban Ki-moon, British Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. David Cameron, and the U.S. President, H.E. Barack Obama.
The GMM initiative was adopted by the 20th ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh on 3 April 2012, and it is envisaged that GMM will be promoted within ASEAN member states to achieve global peace.
GMM reached a milestone on 27 April 2015, when ASEAN Leaders endorsed the Langkawi Declaration on the Global Movement of Moderates at the end of the two-day 26th ASEAN Summit. The adopted Declaration outline measures to help promote moderation and curb extremism throughout the region.
Apart from the ASEAN endorsement, GMM was mentioned and supported by
~ Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on 30 October 2011
~ 16th Non-Aligned Movement Summit (NAM) on 31 August 2012
~ 9th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit (ASEM) on 6 November 2012
~ Forum For East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC) on 21 August 2015
~ 10th East Asia Summit (EAS) on 22 November 2015
The aspirations of the Honourable Prime Minister conveyed at the United Nations 65th Session to establish GMM were realized through the organisation of the first International Conference on Global Movement of Moderates (ICGMM) held on 17-19 January 2012 in Kuala Lumpur.
In his keynote address at the said conference, the Honourable Prime Minister agreed to establish the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) as a key referral point for the consolidation and dissemination of information and campaign materials to all those who want to join the fight against extremism, governmental and non-governmental bodies alike.
As a collective movement, GMM relies on the support of the stakeholders. GMMF has been actively engaging all stakeholders – policy makers, academicians and professionals, civil society organisations, businesses, media, opinion makers, parties to conflicts – in a number of roundtables, expert meetings and focus group discussions in efforts to provide a platform for engagement and consultation.
The GMMF’s intellectual foundation is premised on peaceful co-existence, governance and rule of law, finance and economy, education, conflict resolution, managing Islamophobia, and countering violent extremism. These are the seven areas that are vital to understand and create a moderate world in today’s context.
1. Peaceful Co-Existence
The aim of peaceful co-existence is to establish a baseline where all sides, having found the creed to respect each other, can enhance and enrich their respective philosophical and religious traditions. This is achieved by adopting moderation as a way of life steeped in the search for justice, equilibrium and equity.
2. Governance and Rule of Law
Democracy and the rule of law seek to promote moderation through better understanding of democratisation, and legalisation of disputes, especially with specific reference to international law.
3. Finance and Economy
The international financial system has been marked by serious ruptures and fluctuations, with the need to understand the excesses that have proliferated to allow one to understand the intensity and probability of future financial crisis.
Education has tremendous impact on human perception, beliefs and values, as it is through education that human misperception and prejudice are deconstructed and where diversity is accepted and embraced. Thus equitable access to quality basic education is critical for international peace and security.
5. Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution refers to the concerted and collective attempts to solve conflicts head-on, and seeks to reconcile divergent interests, identity and ideology of all with the goal of fostering permanent and peaceful solutions. Systemic solutions must be found to ensure that the global environment can flourish in peace and moderation.
6. Countering Violent Extremism
The Foundation’s work on countering violent extremism (CVE) reflects the growing international focus on preventive approaches to transnational violence, and is an on-going effort through initiatives designed to identify and prevent threats arising from violent extremism. The Foundation works with stakeholders to promote holistic counter-narratives against violent extremism.
Acts of violence caused by Islamic terrorist groups, and overwhelming display of Muslim migrants and refugees that have intensified in recent years, helped amplify tensions between communities, leading to negative sentiments on Muslims around the world.
Conferences are organised to bring together distinguished experts and eminent figures to share their perspectives on issues and areas related to moderation.
Roundtables are organised to promote open discussion and exchanges of ideas among stakeholders (state, business and civil society) to help identify issues, shape the agenda and advocate pragmatic solutions for the challenges we collectively face.
Prominent world leaders and renowned luminaries such as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and former ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan have presented at GMM’s Distinguished Lecture series.
Expert Group Meetings
The new realities demand new approaches that are creative and innovative. The Experts Group Meetings brings together specialists and authorities to discuss how we go about meeting the challenges of our contemporary age.
Books and Monographs
Books, monographs and extended studies on themes of interest to GMM will be published from time to time to develop a body of work and scholarship on intellectual foundation for moderation.
A quarterly publication organised thematically around contemporary issues of relevance to provide sustained and progressive development of the theory and application of moderation in various fields.
Documentation and collections of works presented at conferences and roundtables organised by the Foundation.
Publications to highlight, document and extend the discussion on the Distinguished Lectures and occasional lectures organised by the Foundation.