This week Donostia in the Basque Country hosted an international conference to initiate inclusive negotiations aimed at conflict resolution. The following sets out the pro independence left in the Bsque Country’s position in regards to these developments.
International Conference to promote the resolution of conflict in the Basque Country
This Monday the International Conference to promote the resolution of conflict in the Basque Country took place in Donostia. The event was of great importance and six world-renowned leaders took part.
There was great expectation to see what the final declaration would contain. At the end of the conference the six world leaders read their final declaration. Bertie Ahern, accompanied by Kofi Annan, Gerry Adams, Jonathan Powell, Pierre Joxe and Gro Harlem Brundtland, read the declaration that was directed at ETA and the Spanish and French Governments, as well as political parties
The Declaration consisted of the following five recommendations:
1.- We call upon ETA to make a public declaration of the definitive cessation of all armed action and to request talks with the governments of Spain and France to address exclusively the consequences of the conflict.
2.- If such a declaration is made we urge the governments of Spain and France to welcome it and agree to talks exclusively to deal with the consequences of the conflict.
3.- We urge that major steps be taken to promote reconciliation, recognize, compensate and assist all victims, recognize the harm that has been done and seek to heal personal and social wounds.
4.- In our experience of resolving conflicts there are often other issues that, if addressed, can assist in the attainment of lasting peace. We suggest that non violent actors and political representatives meet and discuss political and other related issues, in consultation with the citizenry, that could contribute to a new era without conflict. In our experience third party observers or facilitators help such dialogue. Here, such dialogue could also be assisted by international facilitators, if that were desired by those involved.
5.- We are willing to form a committee to follow up these recommendations.
Apart from the world leaders, representatives from the majority of the political parties (with the exception of the PP, the Spanish right-wing) and labor unions took part in the conference. They met for around three hours behind closed doors sharing their points of view about the conflict and how to resolve it. Members of the International Contact Group took part, as well as six expert organizations in conflict resolution that sponsored the event.
The conference had generated a lot of expectation and a sign of that was the large number of journalists who were accredited and who were present at the Peace House in Donostia. The international press informed of the event before it took place, which was a symptom of the expectations that have arisen. Echoes of the conference were also reflected afterwards in the world press such as the English BBC, the French newspaper Liberation, the Mexican La Jornada, the German Der Spiegel, the Irish Times and the Cuban news agency Prensa Latina.
As the newspaper Gara told it in an interesting article about the conference, “right now the ball is in everyone’s court.”
The time has come for an inclusive and consummate dialogue among everyone
The Abertzale Left evaluates the conclusions of the International Conference to promote the resolution of conflict in the Basque Country as being very important.
In a solemn presentation, where different generations of the Abertzale Left took part, they displayed their complete and decided support for the conclusions of the International Conference.
For the Abertzale Left, the Conference has opened the doors to a new situation where everyone can and must be winners. The conclusions of which mark the basis for strengthening a situation of democratic minimums in Euskal Herria.
We call on the political class to confront this new stage and political opportunity with everyone’s shoulder to the wheel so as to build peace and reach a definitive solution to the political dispute.
To conclude, the Abertzale Left would also like to highlight that building peace and definitive solutions is also a task for every citizen of this country.
Abertzale (pro-independence) Left activists from different generations make a public appearance to highlight and underline the importance of the conclusions of the “International Conference for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Basque Country”.
Today the Abertzale Left wants to highlight briefly its contribution to the new situation created in this country through its strategy. This strategy has considerably changed the political scenario, it has promoted the joint action of pro-sovereignty and pro-independence forces, which are the central axis of the Basque political life, and has counted on the credibility and trust given by the Basque citizens, the main recipiants of these efforts, along with the international community.
The international community has been able to create a dynamic in favor of solutions which was unthinkable until now. This dynamic has put the Basque Country, the last conflict in Europe, on the international agenda and with the Conference has opened the doors to a new scenario where all of us can and must be winners. This event and the conclusions extracted from it have a historical dimension which, today, the Abertzale Left must highlight before its peoples.
Accordingly, these are the thoughts the Abertzale Left wants to share with the Basque people to evaluate the results of the Conference:
The Abertzale Left gives its full and determined support to all and each of the conclusions extracted from the “International Conference for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Basque Country”. The Abertzale Left understands that those conclusions open a new period for our country.
The Abertzale Left understands that the Conference has very clearly set the existance of a conflict of political nature that needs a political solution.
The Abertzale Left understands that the conclusions of the Conference establish the basis to consolidate a scenario of shared democratic minimums in the Basque Country. That scenario must promote the inclusive democratic resolution of the political conflict in all its aspects, including its causes and consequences. A scenario, which in consequence, must accept the participation of all political shades of this country, all needed for the political resolution of the conflict.
The Abertzale Left, as political force to the service of the Basque People, shows its total commitment to participate in an active and dynamic manner in the creation of all those inclusive political framworks which are directed to promoting of a multilateral dialogue and which search for the common objective of contributing to the resolution of the conflict.
The Abertzale Left believes that the historical time for all of us, including those who have taken part in the International Conference as well as those unjustified absences, to take on the joint responsability to make contributions together in order to develop an atmosphere of constructive dialogue towards reaching a democratic agreement in the Basque Country. This agreement must be based on the national recognition and the right to self-determination, endorsed by the Basque citizens. This democratic ground must enable that all political projects are achievable in our country, includind ours, that of indepencence. In the end, we are talking about democracy and nothing else.
Finally, the Abertzale Left won’t comment on some particular statements that are being made and which have a clear lack of democratic spirit and political logic. We simply consider them out of place, subjected to interpretations that are not compatible with the philosophy and objectives of the International Conference and to the firm and sincere will of the personalities and political and social agents that have taken part in it.
In this sense the Abertzale Left considers that politicians must face the new period and the political opportunity to which we all have to contribute to build peace and reach a definitive solution to the political conflict.
As the last idea of this press conference the Abertzale Left wants to underline that the building of peace and definitive solutions is also a task of all the citizens of this country. It’s a task of the people, that requires the collective commitment to achieve the objective which has been unreachable and so anxiously wanted for decades: the ending of a political conflict and all its consequences and the building of a country in peace and freedom. Today, obviously, we are closer than ever to achieve it.