PM Rama at Summit

United we can win over violent extremism

I am the leader of a country of Muslims and Christians living in what Pope Francis named “religious fraternity” and with a proud history of salvation of Jews during the Second World War.

I am the leader of a country Albania, which, for all the problems we face, has made great strides in showing what a harmonious multi-faith nation can be. The highlight of my Premiership so far was a visit to our capital city by the Pope.

So, as people of all faiths and none came out to welcome Pope Francis, I was proud to be Albanian, I was proud to be from the Balkans, too.

Because I believe, that very moment in the Balkans has a broader significance, in terms of enormous challenges we all together face.

The threat from radicalization of ideologies and particularly the violent jihadist extremism will not be defeated easily.

There must be military force used. And Albania has been and will always be alongside the US in every military combat against the evil of violent extremism. But in the end to defeat ideology we must win the battle for the minds and hearts of the next generation, because it is only the power of their dreams that makes change an everyday reality.

And we saw this in Balkans where the aspiration of young generations, their rejection to associate with whatsoever classical way of Balkan politics forced and ensured dialogue over conflict, comprehension over fight, life over death.

There must be political strategy as well as military strategy. And just as we in the Balkans have had to address each other’s grievances, so grievances in Iraq and Syria must be addressed.
The combination of international military force and political dialogue can succeed in the Middle East as it has in our region.

But first and foremost there must be a call to young generations all over the world. So they see hope, not blood in horizon, so they see that we fight extremism, while addressing their future as terrorists did not exist.

We, in Albania, will introduce in the coming days a reform to ensure that every child is educated to an open minded attitude to the world of different faiths, cultures and paths of history.

But here we are, the United Nations, can we not all agree a global charter based on a set of values to be introduced and taught in school curriculums all over the world?

Then let’s develop community, youth, art, and culture programs, like the Regional Center against Violent Extremism that we are establishing in Tirana, in our capital city, to fight inter-ethnic division, deal with interfaith misunderstandings, and dispel stereotypes by dialogue.

We need the coalition of armies, but we need the coalition of feelings and we need communities not decry the beliefs of others to believe what we believe ourselves.

Earlier this year in Paris we saw that people of the world could come together despite of solidarity with victims world views.

Before a next attack shows again to everyone the depth of evil, let us mobilize, to create that undefeatable barrier of human feelings with a global charter, an appeal that goes straight to the hearts that whatever hatred they may bear, deep down they are looking for a fairer world.

Let’s associate this charter with measures showing the most sincere engagement to make the world a place of respect for the others faiths and differences; a more equal and sustainable world from surroundings of Baga to those of Paris.

I hope that some of what we have learned in the Balkans can be useful for this struggle.
As one year of peace and dialogue cannot wipe out a whole century marked by war and hate in the Balkans, a charter cannot wipe out blindness of terrorists or thirstiness for more power to whomever takes profit from the destruction they bring.

But let us call to the global spirit, the one that should fight radicalism as at the same time standing against climate change, because no country, no army can defeat these alone, and for sure each of people, and our military alliances together can be defeated by these.

Unless we stand together with the audacity of hope, then as someone already proved, no matter the scale of the challenges, Yes We Can.

Thank you!

Postal Address

Embasy of Albania
Diplomatic Quarter, Al Fazari Plaza, Unit No. G16
P.O.Box 94 004, Riyadh 11693

Tel / Fax

Tel. +966 11 281 6535
Fax. +966 11 281 6536
Nr. i emergjences : 00966501422449



Monday to Friday
09:00 - 17:00