In the name of better fighting “violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts,” the Obama administration has joined a global effort called the Strong Cities Network, which was launched 21 days ago on Sept. 29, 2015 at the United Nations.
Note: Speaking of “violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts,” recall my post of yesterday, “Obama’s DOJ considers ‘racist’ and ‘anti-government’ Americans to be domestic terrorists“. That means the Strong Cities Network, which will be governed by an international body (see below), can and will be directed against Americans deemed to be “racist” and “anti-government.”
The Strong Cities Network will have an International Steering Committee and an International Advisory Board. The latter is “run” by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which means the Strong Cities Network, of which the United States is a member, effectively is “run” by this Institute.
So what exactly is the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)?
The ISD describes itself as a “charitable” (non-profit) “independent ‘think and do tank’ working with leaders in government, business, civil society and academia to develop cross-border responses to the major geo-strategic, social and security challenges of our time. Combining research and policy advisory work, with innovative delivery programmes, specialised task forces, cross-sector partnerships and networks, ISD works to counter global extremism, bridge inter-communal divides and enhance Europe’s capacity to act effectively in the global arena.”
The ISD was founded by The Club of Three, which describes itself as having been established in the mid-1990s at the initiative of Lord George Weidenfeld to bring together leading figures from business and politics, journalism and academic life, from the UK, France and Germany, to meet regularly to discuss key European issues beyond official circles.
Below are the members of the Institute of Strategic Dialogue’s Board of Trustees:
- Peter Baldwin, Professor of History, UCLA.
- Roland Berger, Honorary Professor for Business Administration and Management Consulting at the Brandenburg Technical University; Founder and Honorary Chairman of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Munich, the 5th largest strategy consultancy in the world.
- Matthias Döpfner, Chairman and C.E.O. of Axel Springer AG in Berlin; former Editor-in-Chief of 3 newspapers: Die Welt, Wochenpost, andHamburger Morgenpost.
- Stuart Fiertz, Co-Founder, President and Director of Research at Cheyne Capital Management (UK) LLP, a London-based asset manager with $6 billion under management.
- Francis Finlay, director of “a number of international investment companies and institutions”; former co-founder and chairman of Clay Finlay, an international investment firm based in New York.
- Lord Guthrie, Field Marshal, non-executive director of Petropavlovsk PLC, Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Colt Defense LLC, and Advanced Interactive Systems Inc.; former Chief of the British Defence Staff; former director of N M Rothschild & Sons Limited.
- Pierre Keller, former member of the Swiss diplomatic service who spent “the majority of his career in banking” with Lombard, Odier & Cie.
- Baroness Kennedy QC, a leading criminal lawyer and a member of theBritish House of Lords.
- Michael Lewis, CEO of Oceana Investment and director of Foschini Limited, one of South Africa’s foremost retail companies with 1,200 stores; co-founder of ProChon Biotech Limited, an Israeli-based biotechnology company.
- Sir Michael Pakenham, Senior Advisor to Access Industries, “a US-based private holding company with global interests”; former BritishAmbassador to Poland.
- Baroness Rawlings, member of the British House of Lords; former MP and MEP.
- Lord Simon of Highbury, Non-Executive Director of the GDF Suez Group; member of British the House of Lords; former chairman of British Petroleum.
- Lord Turner, member of the British House of Lords; Chair of the UK Government’s Climate Change Committee; former Chairman of the UK Financial Services Authority.
- Lord George Weidenfeld, a Jewish immigrant from Austria toEngland in 1938; former journalist and newspaper publisher; Founder and President of the Institute for Strategic Dialogue; co-founder (with Lord Rothschild and Lord Alexander) of the Club of Three (Britain-France-Germany), which later incorporated AMEURUS (America-Europe-Russia). Now 95, Weidenfeld created the Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund to rescue Middle Eastern Christians from ISIS terrorism, so as to give back to the Christians who had helped him and countless Jews from the Nazi Germans. The Safe Havens Fund will pay for the rescue of at least 2000 Christians, and offer the refugees 18 months of paid support to help them start their new lives. Weidenfeld said, “I had a debt to repay…. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England. It was a very high-minded operation and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians.”
- 8 of the 14 members of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Strategic Dailogue that will “run” the Strong Cities Network are British.
- At best, only 2 (Baldwin & Finlay) of the 14 members of the Board of Trustees are American.
- At least 2 members of the Board of Trustees have ties to the Rothschilds.
Below is the press release announcing the inauguration of the Strong Cities Network.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 28, 2015
Launch of Strong Cities Network to Strengthen Community Resilience Against Violent Extremism
Cities are vital partners in international efforts to build social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism. Local communities and authorities are the most credible and persuasive voices to challenge violent extremism in all of its forms and manifestations in their local contexts. While many cities and local authorities are developing innovative responses to address this challenge, no systematic efforts are in place to share experiences, pool resources and build a community of cities to inspire local action on a global scale.
“The Strong Cities Network will serve as a vital tool to strengthen capacity-building and improve collaboration,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch. “As we continue to counter a range of domestic and global terror threats, this innovative platform will enable cities to learn from one another, to develop best practices and to build social cohesion and community resilience here at home and around the world.”
The Strong Cities Network (SCN) – which launches September 29that the United Nations – will empower municipal bodies to fill this gap while working with civil society and safeguarding the rights of local citizens and communities.
The SCN will strengthen strategic planning and practices to address violent extremism in all its forms by fostering collaboration among cities, municipalities and other sub-national authorities.
“To counter violent extremism we need determined action at all levels of governance,” said Governing Mayor Stian Berger Røsland of Oslo while commenting on their participation in the SCN. “To succeed, we must coordinate our efforts and cooperate across borders. The Strong Cities Network will enable cities across the globe pool our resources, knowledge and best practices together and thus leave us standing stronger in the fight against one of the greatest threats to modern society.”
The SCN will connect cities, city-level practitioners and the communities they represent through a series of workshops, trainings and sustained city partnerships. Network participants will also contribute to and benefit from an online repository of municipal-level good practices and web-based training modules and will be eligible for grants supporting innovative, local initiatives and strategies that will contribute to building social cohesion and resilience to violent extremism.
The SCN will include an International Steering Committee of approximately 25 cities and other sub-national entities from different regions that will provide the SCN with its strategic direction. The SCN will also convene an International Advisory Board, which includes representatives from relevant city-focused networks, to help ensure SCN builds upon their work. It will be run by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a leading international “think-and-do” tank with a long-standing track record of working to prevent violent extremism:
“The SCN provides a unique new opportunity to apply our collective lessons in preventing violent extremism in support of local communities and authorities around the world”, said CEO Sasha Havlicek of ISD. “We look forward to developing this international platform for joint innovation to impact this pressing challenge.”
“It is with great conviction that Montréal has agreed to join the Strong Cities Network founders,” said the Honorable Mayor Denis Coderre of Montreal. “This global network is designed to build on community-based approaches to address violent extremism, promote openness and vigilance and expand upon local initiatives like Montréal’s Mayors’ International Observatory on Living Together. I am delighted that through the Strong Cities Network, the City of Montréal will more actively share information and best practices with a global network of leaders on critical issues facing our communities.”
The Strong Cities Network will launch on Sept. 29, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. EDT, following the Leaders’ Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism. Welcoming remarks will be offered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, who will also introduce a Keynote address by U.S. Attorney General Lynch. Following this event, the Strong Cities International Steering Committee, consisting of approximately 25 mayors and other leaders from cities and other sub-national entities from around the globe, will hold itsinaugural meeting on Sept. 30, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EDT.
For more information, please visit www.strongcitiesnetwork.org.
Dr. Eowyn’s post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.
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