On 26 January 2017 the first Youth Talks at the Foreign Ministry were a forum for discussing youth radicalisation
Austrian took over the Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2017. In his capacity as Chairperson-in-office, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz identified the fight against radicalisation and violent extremism, in particular among youth, as one of three focuses of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship.
The engagement of the OSCE in promoting the role of young people and including them in its peace and security agenda dates as far back as to the Organization’s founding document, the Helsinki Final Act, and was reiterated by many subsequent OSCE resolutions. Austria is building on the fundamental engagement of the OSCE, and in the series of events titled #YouthTalks17 it will focus increasingly on the involvement of young persons in OSCE issues.
The first Youth Talks are dealing with radicalised youth. Are they victims or perpetrators? Ercan Nik Nafs from the Vienna Youth Ombuds-Office, Felix Saleh Seferovic from Vienna University, Edit Schlaffer from Women Without Borders and Moritz Ehrmann from the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship Task Force met young Austrians to discuss this topic, including the delicate question as to when a victim of radicalisation turns into a perpetrator.
Radicalisation takes place at a local level and is therefore best counteracted at a local level. During the OSCEChairmanship, initiatives from the entire OSCE area, from Central Asia across the Western Balkans to Western Europe, will be supported, with a special focus on bringing in experts from all countries affected who can learn from each other and form networks. In the entire OSCE region radicalisation is primarily a matter of young people.
Thus, the objective has to be close co-operation with vulnerable groups so as to give young people a voice. Realistic solutions can only be brought about by reports based on experiences and approaches which include the perspective of young persons. This is why Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz appointed Professor Peter Neumann Special Representative of the Chairperson-in-Office on the Fight against Radicalisation so as to deepen the exchange of information between experts and young persons. A report on best practices in prevention in the entire OSZE area has been planned. It is to serve all OSCE participating States, opening up opportunities of learning for the experiences of others.
Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs
Tel: +43 (0) 50 11 50 - 3320
Fax: +43 (0) 50 11 50 - 213