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Cutler Fellow to Work at International Court of Justice at The Hague
Marcos Kotlik, a recent LLM graduate from the University of Michigan Law School, at the sixth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program in Washington, D.C. earlier this year
Cutler Fellow to Work at International Court of Justice at The Hague
Oscar Tollast 
A Salzburg Cutler Fellow has been selected to undertake a 10-month Judicial Fellowship at the International Court of Justice at The Hague.  Marcos Kotlik, a recent LLM graduate from the University of Michigan Law School, attended the sixth annual Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program in Washington, D.C. earlier this year.  He was one of five MLaw Cutler Fellows who explored the future of public and private international law.  Speaking to LegalNews.com, Kotlik said, "Beyond the professional and academic aspects of the program, it was a really nice opportunity to meet wonderful people from around the world, learn about their countries and the universities they belonged to, and make new friends." This year's Cutler Fellows Program saw participants engage with prominent legal professionals and public servants, including Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood; Ivan Šimonović, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect; and William H. Webster, former CIA and FBI director.   Kotlik and his peers also worked with faculty advisors from each of the participating law schools – University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Michigan, New York University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, University of Virginia, and Yale University – to sharpen their research papers tackling issues in international law ranging from trade and investment law to the law of war. The Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program was established in memory of Lloyd N. Cutler, the Washington “superlawyer” who served as White House Counsel to Presidents Carter and Clinton. Cutler also served as Chair of Salzburg Global’s Board of Directors for a decade and advocated passionately for mentoring young leaders with a commitment to shaping a better world through law and rule of law.  Since its founding in 2012, the Salzburg Cutler Fellows Program has carried forward Lloyd Cutler’s legacy and continues to empower rising legal professionals from around the world. 
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Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism
Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism
Salzburg Global Seminar 
Xenophobia, racism, and violent extremism are tearing at the fabric of societies across the globe. Although contexts and specifics differ, many shared human values do not: the wish to live in peace and security, and to ensure a positive future for the next generation. At the same time, where atrocities have occurred there is a need to commemorate victims and to confront perpetrators without perpetuating a cycle of violence or creating a climate overwhelmed by vengeance. Faced with a rise in violent extremism, policymakers are under pressure to invest in prevention and to show that it works. Structured efforts to reduce extremist mindsets and behaviors have existed for some time, but evidence of effectiveness is often not widely known or utilized. Many interventions require considerable time to effect change, making rigorous measurement of their success over the long-term resource-intensive with sustained political will around an often-unpopular topic. What works? How do we know? And will it work in different geographic, cultural, and political contexts? These were the questions at the front mind for the educators, practitioners and museum curators invited to take part in a new phase of Salzburg Global Seminar’s Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention multi-year program series as they devised strategies to support cultures of prevention, with a specific focus on Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.  Funded by the United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the two-year project saw Fellows collaborate within and across countries to develop locally-driven, culturally-sensitive and -specific responses to combat extremism and promote pluralism in the five focus countries: Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, Rwanda, and South Africa. The new report, Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism, presents the findings of the project from August 2016 to March 2018, starting with a workshop at Schloss Leopoldskron, culminating in several successful pilot projects that are now being scaled-up across their regions, and generating a series of concrete recommendations for others wishing to implement their own projects to combat extremism and promote pluralism. Interviews with several Fellows are also included. Pilot Projects Fellows from Rwanda and South Africa collaborated in launching the Change Makers Program, a leadership program for high school students. Using case studies on the Rwandan genocide, South African apartheid and the Holocaust, students develop critical thinking skills and are empowered to be agents of positive change.  In Egypt, educators at the American University of Cairo (AUC) established the Civic Peace Education Initiative. This strives to integrate community-based learning, intergenerational dialogue and storytelling into the curriculum and prompts students and faculty to think about societal divides and adopt values of global citizenship. Similarly, Fellows at the International University of Rabat in Morocco developed a graduate degree program in Conflict Resolution and Peace Governance.  In Pakistan, as part of its mission to protect youth against extremist recruitment efforts, the Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan (RESIP) used this funding to conduct a study on the effect of socio-religious identities in shaping university students’ behavior. Elsewhere in the country, Fellows at Kohat University launched a study circle to connect students across the country’s northwestern provinces.  “After the Holocaust, people have repeated the mantra ‘never again’ – but then mass atrocities keep happening,” explains Charles Ehrlich, Salzburg Global Program Director.  “In Salzburg, we’ve heard first-hand accounts of tragedies taking place right now afflicting the Rohingya and the Yazidis, among others. Many of our participants in this program have themselves witnessed or survived unspeakable horror. “As an institution based in Austria, a country which itself continues to have difficulty addressing its own Nazi legacy, Salzburg Global Seminar has an especially important role in working with our colleagues from countries across the world to both address their own difficult histories and, through grassroots action, to seek to create a future where these tragedies do not repeat. The network has grown organically – mostly consisting of Fellows from countries in the Global South – as a way to break the isolation, so they have the opportunity to share experiences and ideas and to learn from each other how to develop initiatives appropriate for the circumstances of their own countries.” All five of the pilot projects are now poised for expansion or replication over the course of 2018 and 2019. For its part, Salzburg Global intends to continue this series on Holocaust education and combating extremism through the convening of future sessions in Salzburg, as well as by supporting in-region gatherings of Fellows to aid in the execution of these initiatives. Download the Report
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention is a multi-year program series held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 
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Ayub Ayubi - “I had no time for thinking independently”
Ayub Ayubi - “I had no time for thinking independently”
Helena Santos and Mirva Villa 
Today Ayub Ayubi is a Pakistani social activist dedicated to youth empowerment and to engaging college students from different cultural and religious backgrounds through the Renaissance Foundation for Social Innovation, Pakistan (RESIP). But this story could have been radically different if Ayubi had not attended college. Born and raised in a “religiously fanatic environment” as he describes it, Ayubi’s childhood was marked by hatred and extremist views on how to treat others who didn’t belong to the deobandi – a strict Sunni school of thought. “My time was divided 40% for school, 30% for madrassa and the rest of the time for my family. In this proportion I had no time for thinking independently or I was not allowed to go around freely with friends not of my culture. The parents belong to a deobandi sector and they didn’t want any friend outside that sector.” Gaining time to think and his own space is what Ayubi considers as the defining moment in his life. While in college he started to have contact with believers from other Muslim sects and it led him to challenge preconceived notions that were prevalent in his household, like how the Shias are the enemies of Islam. “At the college time I changed my circle of friends and that was the time I began to change. I improved myself and it was the initial point for me to de-radicalize myself and to have some freedom, for me to have some space for myself. That was the beginning of it and I really love that moment.” This passion and will to change his extremist ways propelled him to create a safe space for others to go through the same process he had. Hence RESIP was born. His main goal with RESIP, an organization he founded in 2011 and of which he now serves as its chairman, is to promote de-radicalization and preventing violent extremism in his country. With support from Salzburg Global Seminar, he is now also piloting another de-radicalization project, as part of the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. RESIP started as an informal way for students to gather and have the opportunity to discuss their own views, and since 2011 it has helped 5000 young Pakistanis. Seven years later RESIP has two nationwide programs, one of which is Mashal-e-Rah. “Mashal-e-Rah is an on campus campaign for alternative engagement to stop the recruitment of extremist groups like ISIS/Daesh and many of these jihad groups [that] are actively working within the campus. We are trying with this campaign to provide young people a platform where they could share their voices, that could share their grievances against the state, against their own families, against the campus, anyone.” Issues such as gender equality, Islamic extremism and other religions are discussed by students who have different views so that they have a chance to develop empathy with the other person’s believes and values. Mashal-e-Rah is currently present in 25 campuses across Pakistan. “We are not judging them; we are giving them an option to speak up [...] We are trying to let them realize that violence is not an option and that you need to tolerate other people’s views.” Having a space to talk and confront different ideologies is exactly one of the things Ayubi cherishes the most about his time in Salzburg. In his opinion, global meetings are the key to think of the world without any constraints imposed by family, society, governments or media. “I would call it building empathy with the international community. That’s what we need at this stage. That’s one of the stepping stones toward peacebuilding and this is what I’m learning from here.” Ayub Ayubi is a Fellow of the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. This multi-year series is held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. More information is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org
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Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program on the BBC World Service
Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program on the BBC World Service
Bethany Bell, BBC World News 
On November 19, 2017, the BBC World Service featured Salzburg Global Fellows, Albert Lichtblau, Tali Nates and Freddy Mutanguha, and Salzburg Global Program Director Charles Ehrlich as they discussed with BBC Foreign Correspondent Bethany Bell the importance of teaching about the Holocaust in order to prevent future extremism. Presenter: The rise in violent extremism is one of the most troubling phenomena facing governments and communities in recent times but what actually works to prevent it? Well, this week Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria has brought together people from 20 different countries, including Rwanda, South Africa and Bangladesh, who are working to try and promote peace in troubled regions. The seminar asks how tools developed for educating people about the Holocaust can help counter extremism in societies today, as Bethany Bell now reports from Salzburg. Lichtblau: “Adolf Hitler was from Austria. He was born here. He grew up here and he moved to Bavaria then…” Bell: An unusual tour of Salzburg by the Austrian historian Albert Lichtblau. Rather than focusing on the city’s famous citizens like Mozart, this tour is about its Nazi history and the way the city remembers or tries not to remember its past. But this isn’t just a history lesson. The people on the tour are part of a group which is trying to find ways countering extremism today. Charles Ehrlich is from Salzburg Global Seminar. Ehrlich: The people who are here make a mix of activists, government officials, museum directors, civil society from countries in Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. They all have their own national tragedies or difficult atrocities or difficult histories that they need to come to grips with. And Holocaust education is so well developed that it has a set of tools that they can actually adapt to their own societies to be able to help them address their own problems in a way that both memorializes the past in a dignified way and remembers the victims of the atrocities, but also allows them to heal and move into the future. Bell: One of the projects to emerge from the group is the Change Makers Leadership Program, which aims to help high school students from South Africa and Rwanda counter extremism by confronting past atrocities. One of its leaders is Tali Nates from the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Center. Nates: Our idea was to take three case studies: The Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda and the apartheid in South Africa. But to add to that, issues of resilience and empathy and the kids, they would be treated as leaders. One of the most important components was to look at individual stories and the choices people made in those times. So not only talking about the perpetrators and victims but also bystanders, also rescuers, upstanders, in the case of Rwanda, the international community: where was the world? So really looking deeply into human behaving those times and choices the people – individuals and groups – made. And the feeling was with the kids was that “now we are empowered.” One of the students said, “the program allowed me to understand my power that I am an upstander. I can stand up and speak up.” Bell: Tali Nates, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, works closely with Freddy Mutanguha, who lost his parents and siblings in the Rwandan Genocide in 1994. He said they wanted to work with teenagers because they were most at risk of being radicalized. Mutanguha: The young people, they are drawn into mass atrocities, into violence. So we decided to focus on them and help them to resist extremism. The genocide seems to be a past as history. But it’s really alive. Even today you can see the skulls, you can see the consequences. People really feel traumatized at some point. So we have to tell them, “Other people made wrong actions. How can you change it? How can you change Rwanda to be a very good story to tell instead of telling the story of genocide?” Presenter: Freddy Mutanguha ending that report by Bethany Bell. The Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program is a multi-year series held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. More information is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org
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Sarah AlNemr - “Being introduced to so many different perspectives and different terminologies... makes you think more about the world”
Sarah AlNemr - “Being introduced to so many different perspectives and different terminologies... makes you think more about the world”
Carly Sikina and Mirva Villa 
On one hand, media has the ability to reinforce fears and stereotypes, on the other hand it can also enable shared dialogue, which can help facilitate positive social change. AlNemr first came to Salzburg in the summer of 2017 for the three-week Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change, a longrunning program of Salzburg Global Seminar that promotes media literacy and global citizenship. While attending the session, which was that year titled Voices Against Extremism: Media Responses to Global Populism, AlNemr and the other student participants created a multimedia “playbook” to facilitate cross-cultural conversations about populism and extremism. She described her experience as “amazing”, as she was able to meet people from around the world. Since attending the Academy, AlNemr says, “I am far more comfortable being here with a group of people that I’ve never met… Being introduced to so many different perspectives and different terminology, just a lot of different ideas, makes you think more about the world.” Based on her thoughtful contributions while attending the Academy, AlNemr was invited to return to Salzburg for a second time and bring her youth perspective to the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. AlNemr states that she wanted to attend the Program because of her desire to learn about the topic of extremism. “I’m really trying to understand a lot more about it [extremism] because it’s very vital to our existence. It’s not something that we talk about.” She continues, “it’s [important] for me to understand more about the world, to understand how things happen and why conflicts happen.” Although they were different, AlNemr identifies connections between the two sessions. She describes both as “experimental” and “very raw.” She sees the sessions as vital to dismantling current worldviews and systems as well as crucial components to understanding the importance of gaining “different perspectives on how things could be.” She now plans to incorporate her new insights from Salzburg into future filmmaking projects. She highlights the importance of examining “different contexts, having different cultures, having different histories, …and different explanations of one story, of one history,” and she believes that doing so, “really gives you a lot of perspective on how you can use that in film.” Sarah AlNemr is a Fellow of the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. This multi-year series is held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. More information is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org
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Obioma Uche - “If we can find ways to empower women, they will not fall prey to the ideology of those groups”
Obioma Uche - “If we can find ways to empower women, they will not fall prey to the ideology of those groups”
Carly Sikina and Mirva Villa 
Although she teaches petroleum chemistry at the American University of Nigeria, Uche is predominantly interested in the delivery of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education to students, particularly young girls. She believes this initiative can help solve local and regional problems. Moreover, she devotes her life to improving the educational infrastructure in Nigeria and supporting children’s education. “There have been a few bombings in Yola [in the east of Nigeria, near the Cameroonian border]. Fortunately for us, things have quietened down in the past year. But in Maiduguri, there’s a bombing every other day, and what has struck me over the past year is that these bombings have been carried out by women,” she explains. This realization of the increased participation of women in extremist groups, spurred Uche to become further involved in improving women’s education. Uche believes it is important to empower women, as extremist groups attempt to gain members by giving people hope and by convincing them the group’s beliefs are better than their own. “If we can find ways to empower women, they [will] not fall prey to the ideology of those groups.” This empowerment comes through education. “I think for many African countries, they do not understand that child and girl education is important.” Uche understands challenging this common ideology will not be easy. She believes that it is one thing to create a law but another thing to put it into practice. “The law is on the book, but is the will to enforce it there?” In addition to her teaching obligations, Uche is involved in a community scholarship fund. “[We] look for underprivileged children and we pay their tuition all the way through primary school, and for a select few, we also support them through secondary school.” She continues, “Now, that might not seem like much, but for a lot of families in the region, when you are struggling to actually feed your family, having to spend a few extra naira on educating your daughter does not seem like a workable solution.” In addition to supporting children throughout school, she explains the fund strives to improve the infrastructure in schools. “If you go to some of these local schools, you’ll find they are pretty much husks, really. There are no windows, ceiling is in bad repair. So one of the initiatives … this semester has been to refurbish the staff support rooms, give them a facelift, put in a new ceiling and also provide tools that would enable the teachers to put together their lesson plans.” When speaking about her time in Salzburg, Uche is very enthusiastic. “It’s been an eye-opening experience; I’ve learned quite a lot. I think it’s been interesting, being a scientist in a room of people in the arts, learning how they frame their discussions.” “It’s a very educational experience, and I have been able to make a network of colleagues that I think will enable me to do a much better job of trying to improve the situation of the girls that I currently work with.” Despite the obstacles, Uche remains hopeful. “Nigeria is a very patriarchal society and I feel that one of the ways in which I have been able to live a rather independent life for a woman in Nigeria is through education… And so I think, if I can at least be a part of having other women have access to that [same] opportunity, then that’s how we move Nigeria to a better place.” Obioma Uche is a Fellow of the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. This multi-year series is held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. More information is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org
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Arjimand Hussain Talib - Believing in a future that is “inclusive, plural, and not extreme”
Arjimand Hussain Talib - Believing in a future that is “inclusive, plural, and not extreme”
Mirva Villa 
Kashmir, divided under the control of India, Pakistan and China, is one of the most militarized zones in the world. The ongoing conflict between India and Pakistan over the ownership of the prosperous region began with the violent partition of British India 70 years ago. The Kashmiri people are no strangers to power struggles – they have been under foreign rule for centuries, from the Mughals in the 16th to the British in the 20th. The lives of the people living in the area continue to be affected by the aftermath of the 1947 partition. Seventy years on, approximately one million armed forces man both sides of the line of control, guarding a population of about 12 million people. “Because of this insurgency and the counter-insurgency operations, life of the ordinary Kashmiris is really very difficult,” says Arjimand Hussain Talib. “Basic civil liberties are hampered to a great extent. There are extra-constitutional laws, which don’t really allow people to live a life of normality. Armed forces have almost complete impunity: they can fire and shoot anyone at any time at will without accountability. So these are very difficult circumstances,” Talib says, adding that living in an environment of constant fear and uncertainty has taken a great toll on the people’s psyche and mental health as well. Talib was brought up in Kashmir, during what he calls a “very difficult time.” In the 1990s, the region was in the midst of heightened armed conflict. Most parents at the time, Talib explains, chose to send their children abroad to receive their education. “Like many others, I was sent to South India.” Talib trained as an engineer, though his passions lay elsewhere. “I had more leanings toward social and political sciences, but finally, I became an engineer.” He later went on to study water resource management and worked for international organizations such as Oxfam, UNESCO, Plan International and ActionAid. The work took him to 16 different countries (including Austria, where he participated in a Salzburg Global Seminar program on the Politics of Water in 2002) and many years away from Kashmir, but now, Talib is set on returning to help his home region. “At this point in time I had two options: to continue my international career, working outside of Kashmir, or going back and doing something for Kashmir.” As Kashmir is yet again living through a turbulent period of unrest, Talib has returned to Kashmir to launch a newspaper, Ziraat Times. The paper has been running since October 2017, and it is the first print publication focused solely on Kashmir’s agricultural business community – which makes up a large portion of the local economy. While other papers largely report on the ongoing struggles of the region, Ziraat Times aims bring something new to the public conversation by focusing on the local economies of Jammu and Kashmir – the Indian-administered part of the region – and wider issues that impact the area, such as climate change. In addition to the news and weather, the newspaper features interviews with farmers and agricultural experts. This is part of an effort on Talib’s part to change the narrative around the region – something he spoke about at Schloss Leopoldskron during the session, alongside participants from other parts of the Indian subcontinent that were partitioned in 1947. Talib insists that “Kashmir is a very resilient nation.” Despite its decades-long conflict, Kashmir is a relatively prosperous region, with lower rates of poverty in both India and Pakistan compared to the other regions in the two countries. According to a 2013 Bank of India report, Jammu and Kashmir ranks as the seventh most prosperous of the 36 states and union territories of India with 10.35 percent of the population living below the poverty line compared to the national average of 21.92 percent. While much higher than over the border, at 25 percent the poverty rate of Azad Jammu and Kashmir makes it the second most prosperous of the eight administrative units of Pakistan, according to a 2016 report by the Pakistan Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. “We don’t have people without homes for example. We don’t have homeless people. We don’t have Kashmiri beggars on the streets – beggars do come, but they are from the mainland of India.” According to Talib, the fertile lands have ensured the fruit-growing region enjoys economic prosperity – but what is needed now is political stability and space for open discussion and dialogue to solve the long-simmering tensions before they flare up into another major conflict. “You cannot have a sustainable peace, you cannot have stability, and you cannot have a stable political system without a credible democratic system,” says Talib. In this vein, another project Talib is planning is a youth dialogue project, encouraging young people to come together and discuss issues of contention and find common ground. Talib left a long career in international development for a new role in newspaper publishing to help change the prevaling narrative in his homeland, Kashmir Discussion is particularly valuable at this point in time, as Talib says Kashmir has lately seen “tendencies of growing extremist ideologies.” “I’ve seen the perils and pain of the Arab Spring, and what it did to countries like Libya and Syria, and I’m affected by that…. I don’t want Kashmir to face a similar situation,” said Talib, “This [idea of] going back [home] is guided by that desire of contributing something small in making sure that we prevent Kashmir from becoming a situation like Syria or Libya.” International collaboration gives participants in the Salzburg Global Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program the opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences on tackling local issues of extremism and consider adapting tried-and-tested strategies in their own contexts and communities. Hearing Rwandan participants share how their country worked through the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, where an estimated 800,000 Tutsi Rwandans were killed by their Hutu compatriots in the space of 100 days, was especially valuable for Talib. “Much of the world is currently facing this challenge of extremism. Extremist right-wing parties and ideologies are taking center-stage almost everywhere.” Talib’s values the moral support offered by the network of likeminded people. “The biggest thing is that we come to know in these events there are people who believe in a future which is inclusive, which is plural, which is not extreme. And that motivates you, and that gives you an opportunity to form linkages, to think of a future where you would have allies in furthering your vision." Arjimand Hussain Talib is a Fellow of the Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention Program. This multi-year series is held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. More information is available here: holocaust.salzburgglobal.org
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Learning from the Past
Learning from the Past
Maryam Ghaddar and Tomas De La Rosa 
The scars left by decades of systematic persecution and genocide are strewn across our recent history and are still evident across the globe today. The Holocaust may be the most widely known and studied genocide of the 20th century, but understanding of it is fading with each generation. The world may now cry “never again” but the dehumanization of its Jewish population and other minorities began long before the Nazis erected their concentration and death camps. To understand how such atrocities occur, it is important to not only study, remember and memorialize the Holocaust, but also other cases of genocide and mass violence, especially if we hope to mitigate against such atrocities happening again in the future. The examination in Salzburg of various atrocities – including the genocide of Herero in Namibia, the genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda, and more recently, the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar and the massacre of Yazidi in Iraqi Kurdistan – was not to compare or rank human suffering, but to understand how such violence can happen and how it can be halted in the future. By acknowledging the differences; highlighting their distinct histories; identifying the impact of political, cultural or religious indoctrination of populations, especially young people; the experts gathered by Salzburg Global Seminar hoped to find a common ground in the fight to prevent future genocides. Mapping Dehumanization in Colonial Namibia Genocide is often divided into several stages, three of which can be described as dehumanization, extermination, and denial. These stages do not necessarily occur chronologically, but rather intertwine and create a breeding ground for hostility. Jeremy Silvester, director of the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN), has spent much of his adult life examining the Herero genocide of 1904-1907, which saw tens of thousands of Herero people deliberately starved to death or rounded up into concentration camps in German South West Africa (modern-day Namibia). The victims suffered further indignity when more than 3000 of their skulls were sent to Germany to be studied. “What is the process by which you dehumanize a group of people to the extent you can kill them without regret?” Silvester asks. “The exports of decapitated heads to Germany to be used for racist science…it’s very instructive that there were postcards, for example, of skulls being packaged to be sent from Swakopmund concentration camps.” Through his work with the Africa Accessioned project, Silvester has attempted to map out the historical implications of this dark period of German history and repatriate the victims’ remains and artifacts being held in German museums. “There has been a willful amnesia within Germany,” he laments. “The emphasis is…very much on the memories of the Holocaust and the Second World War, but the colonial history has been, I think, suppressed. The links between these two events have also not been explored sufficiently.” The Protracted Extermination of the Rohingya Mofidul Hoque is director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice in Bangladesh. His country is currently witnessing a large influx of Rohingya refugees fleeing ethnic cleansing in neighboring Myanmar One cannot begin to speak about dehumanization as a genocidal process without first understanding the degree to which hatred and distrust settle in people’s minds. The minority Muslim Rohingyas are a very small ethnic religious community in the strait of Myanmar, with a distinct language, culture, and identity. Their persecution has a long history. They are denied citizenship in Myanmar and were excluded from the country’s most recent census. The most recent violence is officially in response to Rohingya insurgent attacks, but the Burmese military has responded brutally, targeting not only the militants but destroying whole villages in northern Rakhine State. The UN has called the violence a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Mofidul Hoque, director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice, has witnessed the refugee crisis unfold in neighboring Bangladesh, as nearly 700,000 Rohingya people have fled their homes and sought safety over the border. “Here, the group is small and the intent to destroy is almost complete... It has a similarity with the Holocaust. The Jewish population was [not] large… the brutality was immense, and the same thing we see with the Rohingyas. They have… denied them of their ethnic identity and citizenship, and they are now trying to wipe them out… There are [Buddhist] monks and priests… who are actually propagating hate speech, who are branding the particular community as an enemy of the state, and the reflection now we see in the tragedy which has unfolded before us.” Buddhism is a religion of Ahimsa, or non-violence, but with state support in Myanmar, ultra-nationalist, Buddhist extremism and anti-Muslim rhetoric is spreading. “Genocide does not happen overnight,” Hoque says. Instigating hatred, perpetuating that hatred through years of propaganda, and denying atrocities all play a role in making the nightmare a reality. A Portrait of Denial in Rwanda Tom Ndahiro is the author of The Friends of Evil: When NGOs Support Genocidaires Tom Ndahiro, a Rwandan researcher specializing in genocide ideology and denial, contends that denial is present in every phase of genocide, be it a denial of humanity, dignity, or the crime itself. “When you don’t find the targeted group as equal to the others, when you deny the others’ right to existence, dehumanization is simple. Dehumanization leads your venture to extermination.” In Salzburg, Ndahiro highlighted the many points in history in which denial has facilitated crimes against humanity, from the genocide of Native Americans and the pogroms against Jews in the Middles Ages, to the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which saw 70% of the Tutsi population brutally slaughtered in just 100 days at the hands of their Hutu compatriots. The publication and dissemination of anti-Tutsi propaganda, such as the Bahutu Manifesto in the 1950s and the Ten Hutu Commandments in the 1990s, helped to galvanize Hutu hatred of their fellow Rwandans over many decades. After the Bahutu Manifesto-inspired killing of over 20,000 Tutsis in 1959, Ndahiro explains that “The persecution and the killing was never seen as a crime, but a political act they called a revolution… Some voices were raised that there was a genocide in Rwanda, but the world received that information with contemptible indifference. Discrimination against the Tutsis continued for many years…almost total extermination of them was contemplated, planned and prepared by the government in place…in 1994, followed by the perpetrators running away…Their plan to deny the genocide was instituted with impunity as we see today.” To counter this denial of humanity and history, Ndahiro says that a culture of human rights is needed “that is inculcated from the lowest to the highest strata of the society.” Extremist Ideology behind the Yazidi Massacre Speaking of the recent Yazidi persecution by Daesh in Iraqi Kurdistan, Günes Murat Tezcür, Jalal Talabani chair of Kurdish political studies and associate professor at the University of Central Florida, emphasized how Daesh underpinned their killing, raping and enslaving of the Yazidi with religious extremism: “The Islamic State… have a very strong ideological justification for the particular treatment they brought to the Yazidis. To be more specific, they actually used lots of Islamic sources to claim that Yazidis… abandoned Islam. From a classical theological perspective, abandoning Islam for any religion is basically a big sin… In some cases, they were given the choice of conversion… Many Yazidis decided not to convert and they were killed on the spot… So there you basically see a very clear-cut example of ideology shaping an organization’s behavior toward a minority.” The plight of the Yazidis is not a new phenomenon; campaigns against minority religions have been ongoing for centuries. The pattern is often the same: kill the males, enslave the women and children. Daesh’s ideology has “strong, local connections and… many local people took part,” says Tezcür. In this sense, race and religious prejudice plays a significant role. “Since the Yazidis were a very isolated community, they did not have much interaction with the outside, it was much easier to… just label them as devil worshippers and then characterize them with some very bizarre features or cultures, so it becomes much more justifiable to dehumanize them and basically attack them.” Translating Narratives into a Framework for Peace Acknowledging the patterns of atrocities, memorializing victims of genocide, and learning from humanity’s tragic mistakes will help forge a path toward resilience and global citizenship. Without these elements, humanity is doomed to repeat the worst parts of its history. Looking again at the Rohingya crisis, Hoque and his team at the Liberation War Museum and The Center for the Study of Genocide and Justice have been conducting small scale research on prevention strategies. He stresses the importance of giving the Rohingyas a human face, giving the women and children a voice, listening to their suffering, protecting their identity, and providing medical support and post-trauma counseling. Similarly, Silvester suggests integrating the subject of genocide prevention into the schools’ curriculum worldwide. Keeping the memory of victims of the Herero genocide in Namibia alive over a century later is key to “creating a new marker in terms of relations between Africa and other countries that were colonized in Europe. Perhaps it opens up other debates and issues.” Ndahiro compares the memorialization of the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda to a sort of vaccination against massacres. He suggests establishing legal mechanisms, coupled with education. The process of fighting extremism begins with reversing all policies that led to the genocide – discrimination, unequal treatment of citizens, and poverty. “Most of these crimes, they don’t start with action,” Ndahiro elaborated. “They start with words…You can’t combat extremism without fighting extremist discourse.” Tezcür notes that ending local support for insurgency and establishing more effective policies to protect the remaining Yazidis, rather than thinking of them as refugees, would contribute to the survival of a community. “As some organizations are doing nowadays…like YAZDA…they document the projects, conduct interviews with survivors, with other Yazidis, they try to document the signs of the massacres, collect evidence, so that these things will not only stay at the oral level…but they will be part of a written archive…In the long run, you can basically think about these sites as places for museums or memorials.” Incorporating lessons from the Holocaust and genocides from a broader international and historically universal perspective ensures that remembrance and empathy are ever-present. As Mofidul Hoque said: “This is a crisis of humanity and humanity should act as one.” Combating Extremism and Promoting Pluralism  Download the full Report 
Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention is a multi-year program series held in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It is funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with further support from Ronald D. Abramson, the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung. 
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Josée Touchette- “Trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government”
Josée Touchette- “Trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government”
Maryam Ghaddar 
“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” These lyrics, by famous Canadian poet and singer Leonard Cohen, are words to live by. For Josée Touchette, executive director at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Fellow of Salzburg Global Seminar, this quote rings particularly true. Touchette attended a three-week session on American Law and Legal Institutions in July, 1990. Nearly 30 years later, she returned to Schloss Leopoldskron as a member of the Public Sector Strategy Network for the program titled Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? While at the session, participants engaged in peer-to-peer learning on some of the challenges facing the public sector while looking ahead at some of the difficulties that may yet arise. Participants shared their experiences of lessons learned and cross-sector innovations, something Touchette explained was the very essence of what Salzburg Global has always aimed for. “You had a sense of hope. You had a sense of possibility,” she reflected on her previous visit. “It was a force. It was something that I fed off for many, many years. I made friendships that, to this day, are lasting. We didn’t call it design thinking back then, but the fact that we were coming from such different backgrounds meant that we were tackling issues from very different perspectives… that ability to do it in a safe place is something that hasn’t changed, and it’s a constant in what the Seminar does.” One of the key themes of this session centered around the topic of trust in governments and the underlying belief more can be done to include public opinion and ideas into the spaces for solutions. Touchette, who believes global values are “the glue that binds us,” discussed the degree to which public interests and trust can be brought into the conversation on policy-making, highlighting such issues as job inclusion, equality and inclusiveness. She explained that unless citizens are actively engaged in the government’s process of policy-making, policies are “by definition, going to be developed in a bit of a vacuum.” “Perhaps, what we need to be mindful of is the fact that we may need to change the expression of those values as we go forward because the velocity of change is simply too great to ignore the fact that how they’re expressed and how they are meaningful may not be the same way tomorrow as it is today.” Elaborating on this point, Touchette discussed the power of social media and how it relates to narratives surrounding governments and a decline in trust in political institutions. “We have to reconquer that space and make it our own,” she said. “The legitimacy of government, the legitimacy of policy, the legitimacy of policy-makers has to be a part of that, so I think that how we use social media in government is a real opportunity and we’re starting to see governments really innovate in that space… It’s a real opportunity if we’re able to do that and to have that as a platform for trust.” Management excellence, as Touchette explained, “is often the unsung hero in a lot of the things that we do in government.” Focusing on cost effectiveness, actions, services being delivered, and “engaging with citizens for citizens” paves the way for a much greater chance for success. However, there are no success stories without a string of failures behind them. Touchette clarified we must “enable the success” and create “a culture that really values those risks that need to be taken.” Speaking on her responsibility in planning a biennial budget for the OECD in Canada, for example, she stressed the importance of “developing good performance indicators” and reaping “the success stories early enough to be able to infuse them as part of the planning for the next biennial. The same thing is true, of course, of the failures.” Touchette humbly acknowledged she is just one person in a much larger team. “You have to often chunk out the problem and slice it [into] smaller slices to be able to approach and get a small solution here, followed by another one, followed by another one.” Salzburg Global Seminar has had a strong impact on Touchette’s career, anchoring a core perception of the public sector. “Governance and leadership are inseparable…trust is at the heart of so many of the problems that we grapple with in government,” she said. Rather than see the world through rose colored glasses, Touchette said stepping away from the everyday challenges and taking some quiet time to gain perspective is the most rewarding aspect of this program. From coming here as a young professional newly embarking on her career path, to returning with nearly thirty years’ experience under her belt, Touchette said, “Salzburg [Global] Seminar has a unique ability to make you think, to help you see the world in a different way and to make you want more. I think you’re a better person when you’re in Salzburg.” Mechanics for the Future: How Can Governments Transform Themselves? is part of the Public Sector Strategy Network, a multi-year initiative held in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court and in cooperation with Apolitical. More information on this session can be found here.
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