Global governance needed to counter terrorism

January 9, 2006
Dr. Nicola Towfigh at the European Baha'i Conference on Law.

GROESBEEK, Netherlands — The challenges that terrorism throws at governments can only be countered by global governance deeply grounded in unity, a keynote speaker told the European Baha'i Conference on Law.

Dr. Wendi Momen said that the challenges to the law that terrorism poses are not only in the area of balancing safety with human liberty but in the creation of new law to fit a new system of governance that is better adapted to the present globalized world.

"While the terrorist fires are burning, states and governments around the world are struggling with 19th century legal frameworks and notions of state sovereignty that prevent them from turning on the water hose -- this has to change, and quickly," Dr. Momen said.

Dr. Momen, who holds a doctorate in international relations from the London School of Economics, is an editor and author, and the former chair of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Momen was delivering the Dr. Aziz Navidi Memorial Lecture, which is named after a prominent Baha'i lawyer renowned for his courage and skill in the area of human rights.

The conference, held 1-4 December 2005, attracted participants from seven countries and was organized by the Law Association of the Tahirih Institute, an educational institute of the Dutch Baha'i community.

Joachim Monkelbaan at the European Baha'i Conference on Law. Slideshow
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Joachim Monkelbaan at the European Baha'i Conference on Law.

In her address, Dr Momen said new responses are needed at the international level that enable, and even require, governments to work together, the strengthening of international bonds, and steps towards an international federal government.

Among other papers delivered at the conference were: "Consultation in a Multilateral Setting," by Joachim Monkelbaan; "Human Cloning -- Current Legal and Ethical Considerations seen from a Baha'i perspective," by Tinia Tober; "The Ethical Consciousness," by Eltjo Poort; "Some Thoughts on the Future of Crime and Punishment implied in the Baha'i Writings," by Shirin Milani-Ansinger.

Other presentations were made by Dr. Nicola Towfigh, Dr. Frank Dignum, and Dr. Virginia Dignum.

Workshop topics included "The denial of the right to education for Baha'is in Iran," "Freedom of Speech," and "Jury versus Judge."