The Global Movement of Moderates (GMM) is a new approach in international relations and foreign policy, with the main goal of applying perspectives and frameworks of moderation to realize world peace and harmony.
GMM is an idea articulated by Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak in 2010, during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. According to him "The real divide is not between Muslims and non-Muslims or between the developed and developing worlds. It is between moderates and extremists."
In 2013, also at the UNGA, the Prime Minister renewed his call for moderates from all religions, traditions and nations to reclaim the centre stage from the encroachment of extremist elements, insisting that "at the international level, moderation can guide our approach to the great global challenges of our age: violent extremism, sustainable development and equitable growth.”
PHILOSOPHICAL AND OPERATIONAL FRAMEWORKS
GMM is a revitalization of an age-old philosophy, idea and thought. It is centred on the values and principles of moderation, which have deep roots in various cultures and civilizations.
The notion of moderation itself appears to resonate among many of the world's cultural and spiritual traditions. Examples are, in the Islamic concept of wasatiyyah, which means "moderation", "middle path" and "balance"; and in the Confucius doctrine of the mean: chung yung, which means "middle path". These are only a few of many different ways in which the rich and varied spiritual tapestries of the world seem to be connected by the thread of moderation.
A more operational and pragmatic understanding of moderation is that it is “a set of values and behaviour that is morally, socially and culturally acceptable”, and GMM seeks to operationalize this as a foreign policy concept by advocating for values and networks of moderation to foster a more inclusive, sustainable and equitable society. The centre stage of international affairs had been dominated by elements of extremism for too long, and GMM was envisioned as a platform for the silent moderate majority to present a united front in exploring, formulating and implementing effective and compelling ways to counter the spread, influence and consequences of extreme views and actions.
In international relations and foreign policy, countries normally conduct two tracks of diplomacy, i.e. "government-to-government diplomacy" and "people-to-people diplomacy".In Malaysia, the government-to-government diplomacy is led by the Foreign Ministry. GMM's role is in strengthening people-to-people diplomacy and widening people participation in foreign policy decision making.
In order to meet the aspirations of GMM, the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) was established in April 2012 as a think tank for the pursuit, development and sharing of the GMM approach and operationalize it into practical and impactful initiatives.
As a collective movement, GMM relies on the support of the stakeholders. GMMF has been actively engaging all stakeholders (state, business and civil society) in a number of roundtables, expert meetings and focus group discussions in efforts to provide a platform for engagement and consultation.
Taking into cognisant that we are living in a world that is very different than what it was before - New Realities - which involves three elements: ICT/new media, new social consciousness/movements and third phase of democracy; and pursuant to the consultations with stakeholders, GMMF is currently on track to develop ideas, frameworks and strategies for moderation on the following 5 initiatives.