In November every year we stop and take time to remember those who died as well as those who continue to suffer as a result of their service in time of war, confronting danger and protecting freedom on behalf of their own generation and those of us who follow. It is very important not only that we pay respect for their sacrifices, but also that we remind ourselves of the terrible costs and consequences of war, so that we can be motivated to find other ways of addressing our differences.
Sadly, in our own day, the old dangers remain, indeed some seem to be re-emerging after years of quiescence, and we are also facing new threats posed by violent extremism. It is not enough to participate in acts of remembrance. To properly honour the memory of those who served and those who died, and to pay tribute to their sacrifices, we must also do all we can to protect the freedoms for which they fought and to prevent another descent into oppression and the collective madness of war This is not a distant prospect. A century on, we stand again on the very edge of the abyss.
In recent months I have worked along with the Club de Madrid and other colleagues who have also devoted themselves to understanding the causes of violent political conflict to produce a new global consensus document. At a conference at the end of October in Madrid we finalized the negotiations on the text with some 40 former Prime Ministers and Presidents from around the world and 150 global experts. In their presence at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos in Madrid, my co-chair, former President Danilo Turk of Slovenia and I presented the document to Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is also working on the global challenge of Combating Violent Extremism and will present detailed proposals to the UN General Assembly early next year.
You can find further details of the document and sign up to show your support of this emerging #GlobalConsensus Please join us in www.stoppingviolentextremism.org