GLOBAL MOVEMENT OF MODERATES CONCEPT ADOPTED: The regional grouping can utilise the idea to raise its value
ASEAN leaders yesterday unanimously adopted Malaysia's Global Movement of Moderates concept mooted by Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he delivered his maiden speech at the 65th United Nations General Assembly in 2010.
The leaders pledged their undivided support and gave their endorsement after a concept paper on GMM was presented by Asean secretary-general Dr Surin Pitsuwan during a plenary session of the two-day Asean Summit which started yesterday at the Peace Palace here.
Speaking to Malaysian reporters after the end of the first-day summit, Najib said he was overwhelmed that his idea was accepted and turned into a concept paper for the region in its bid to rid of extremism and terrorism.
Essentially GMM, he said called on the voices of moderation to drown the voices of extremism.
"The voices of moderation should be from all religious beliefs and faiths, committed to working together to combat and hence, marginalise extremists."
GMM, Najib added, aimed to address all forms of political extremism, including religious extremism, ultra-nationalism and radicalism.
The prime minister also said Asean could utilise the idea of GMM as part of its current agenda to raise the Asean value -- the practice of moderation -- at the international level.
"If embracing and practising moderation has worked for Asean, it is not impossible for it to work in the global village.
"The movement of moderates is an important approach so that Asean can contribute to the world in achieving global peace."
He noted that promoting GMM would have to be undertaken at three levels -- national, regional and international.
"This has to be done simultaneously. There cannot be a one-glove-fits-for all types of approaches. There is a need to apply different strategies to different audiences and at different levels."
At the national level, Najib said he told the leaders during an intervention session that each member state should convene their own respective symposiums for people from all walks of life.
They should organise official celebrations or events such as the World Interfaith Harmony Week in their country and other community outreach activities.
At the regional level, Najib proposed that a special Asean unit be formed to handle only GMM-related issues while an Asean online space be established to hear the voices of moderates.
He also called on the leaders to utilise the Asean+1 and other regional meetings to promote the GMM at the international level.