David Kirkham, ICLRS Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy, spoke in late January 2016 at a high-level workshop on ‘Security and Religion’ at NATO Headquarters, in Brussels. The meeting brought together leading experts and practitioners–scholars, diplomats, religious leaders, NGO representatives and others—from both sides of the Atlantic, the Western Balkans, and the Black Sea.
The workshop examined current challenges to security, with a specific focus on ‘soft security’ issues, and the cultural and religious contributions to the peaceful development of societies in the context of the ongoing Euro-Atlantic integration process. Participants began with the assumptions that the international community as a whole, and NATO as an integral part of it, faces challenges that can only be addressed by a comprehensive cooperative approach. They thus sought common ground on the values-based system served by both religious and civic communities, taking into account what are seen as the primary security issues that our societies confront.