“When I founded ICAN, my goal was to ensure that we were not only hearing but also heeding the voice and expertise of women peacebuilders in countries affected by conflict and violent extremism,” said ICAN’s Founder and CEO, Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, MBE, at the High-Level International Conference on Human Rights, Civil Society and Counter-Terrorism in Málaga, Spain.  Organized by the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) and the Government of the Kingdom of Spain, “the Malaga Conference” was held on 10 and 11 May, 2022.

Speaking at Session II Protection of Principled Humanitarian Action, Ms. Anderlini offered five solutions to minimize harm to local peacebuilders and provide them with the recognition, protection, and support to lead on their vision for transforming extremisms and building more peaceful and pluralistic societies.

She closed her remarks with a question to those in attendance. “Business as usual has not worked. Einstein said the definition of madness is repeating the same thing expecting different results. Well internationally we are repeating the same things and getting ever worsening results. At ICAN, and among our WASL partners, we are ready and willing to consider new strategies, learn the hard lessons, and do things differently. The question is do each of you, as governments, as individual leaders, have the courage to change course?”

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