Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Major International Initiative in support of Basque Peace Process

11 October, 2006


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP has today co-signed a Declaration of Support for the Basque Peace Process (see below).

The declaration is a major international initiative co-signed by political leaders from across Europe and the world including former Presidents of Italy and Portugal, the South African ANC and Mexican RDP (see list below).

Speaking today Mr Adams said:

'The Irish peace process has benifited greatly from the involvement of and support from the international community.

'I am delighted to be involved in this International Declaration of Support for the Basque Process, and like all the other signatories am willing to assist in whatever way I can.

'In Sinn Féin's view there is an urgent need for all parties to the Basque conflict to come together and agree the timeframe for and modalities of all party talks. Such talks would provide the momentum which many observers argue is currently lacking in the process.' ENDS


INTERNATIONAL DECLARATION OF SUPORT FOR THE BASQUE PROCESS

Looking the new political situation created in Euskal Herria/Basque Country and taking in account mainly:

  • The will to open an oficial contact line bettwen the basque organization ETA and the Spanish Government.
  • The statement of Spanish President Mr. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero committing to respect any decision taken by the basque people exclusively through democratic ways and legal procedures.
  • The intense activity promoted by the basque political forces, trade unions and social movements.
1. We consider very positive the recent initiatives taken to overcome the ongoing political confrontation and the opening of a process of  mutual recognition and civic compromise consequence of the hard work and democratic  commitment expressed by both sides the basque and Spanish one.   2. We welcome this new phase, in wich words are beginning to triumph over silence and the bedlam of injustice and thus facilitate dialogue and negotiation. This is the only way to resolve political problems and lay foundation for a true Peace, based both on mutual recognition and agreement between the parties and on the universal rights of democracy.   3. We encourage and exhort all the parties concerned, in complete absence of violence form both sides, to join us in pursuing tirelessly the hard but rewarding journey to wich we have committed ourselves, soothing the ancient wounds of the long conflict with the balm of responsible politics and using our determination and the precepts of democracy  to eradicate for ever the causes and effects of the conflict.  

4. Finally we declare our readiness to support, in every way that is humanly possible, any process that leads to the attainment of Peace and we commit ourselves, form this day on, to promote all initiatives whose objective is to achieve that result by democratic means.

October, 2006

Signatories:


Francesco Cossiga (born July 26, 1928) is an Italian politician  former Home Affairs Minister, former President of the Minister Council, former President of the Senate and former President of the Italian Republic. He is now  President Emeritus of the Italian Republic, and  lifetime senator of the Italian Republic. He was also a professor of law at University of Sassari.

He was born at Sassari, Sardinia. He started his political career during World War II in groups of Catholic reference.

He has been several times a minister for Democrazia Cristiana (DC); notably during his stay at Viminale (Ministry for internal affairs) he re-structured Italian police, civil protection and secret services organisations. He was in charge during the kidnapping and murdering of Aldo Moro by Red Brigades and resigned when Moro was found dead in 1978.

Election as President of Italy
Resigning from his post, he earned the respect of the opposition (in particular of the Italian Communist Party) because he appeared as the only member of the government who took responsibility for the tragic conclusion of the events. This led to his election in 1985 as President of the Republic (Head of State), in which for the first time ever a candidate won at the first ballot (where a majority of over ? is necessary, which would subsequently decrease in later ballots). The only other president of the Italian Republic elected at the first ballot was Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in 1999.

Lifetime senator
After his resignation from Quirinale (the Roman hill in which is the office of the Head of State), he is a lifetime senator, like all the former Presidents of the Republic, since 1992. His current title is President Emeritus of the Italian Republic.

Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares  (born December 7, 1924), Portuguese politician, was born in Lisbon, and graduated in history, philosophy and law from the University of Lisbon. Former Secretary General of the Portuguese Socialist Party, former Minister for Overseas negotiations, former Prime Minister and President of Portugal.

As .an Antifascist activist   Soares was arrested several times in the 40s 50s. In March 1968, Soares was arrested again by PIDE, and a military tribunal sentenced him to banishment in the colony of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. In 1970, Soares was exiled to Rome, and in 1973 he promoted the creation of  the Socialist Party, and Soares was elected Secretary-General.

Democracy
On 25 April 1974, elements of the Portuguese Army seized power in Lisbon, overthrowing Salazar's successor, Marcelo Caetano. Soares and other political exiles returned home to heroes' welcomes to celebrate what was called the "Carnation Revolution."

In the provisional government which was formed after the revolution, led by the Movement of the Armed Forces (MFA), Soares became Minister for Overseas Negotiations, charged with organising the independence of Portugal's overseas colonies. Among other encounters, he met with Samora Machel, the leader of Frelimo, to negotiate the independence of Mozambique.

Prime Minister
In the  national elections that  were held in April 1976 the Socialists won a plurality of seats and Soares became Prime Minister. In1983,  Soares again became Prime Minister, holding office until late 1985.

Presidency
In the Portuguese presidential election, 1986, held in March, Soares was elected President of Portugal. He was reelected in 1991, this time with almost 70% of the votes.

Post presidency
Soares retired in 1996, but in 1998 he headed the Independent World Commission on the Oceans.  In 1999 he also headed the Socialist ticket in elections to the European Parliament, where he served until the 2004 elections. He is currently president of the Fundação Mário Soares (Mário Soares Foundation).

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas (born 1 May 1934) is a prominent Mexican politician. He is a former governor of Michoacán, former Head of Government of the Federal District and a founder of the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). He is also Vicepresident of the Socialist International

He was born in Mexico City, the son of  Mexican President Lázaro Cárdenas del Río and Amalia Solórzano. Today, Cárdenas remains a senior member of the PRD, and is considered the 'moral leader' of this party.

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel (born November 26, 1931 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) human rights activist was the recipient of the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize.

Pérez Esquivel attended the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Universidad Nacional de La Plata where he was trained as an architect and sculptor. He then was appointed professor of architecture. For 25 years, he taught in primary schools, secondary schools and at the university level. He has worked in a number of sculptural media.

In the 1960s, Pérez Esquivel began working with popularly based Latin American Christian pacifist groups. In 1974 he decided to relinquish his teaching as he was chosen as coordinator general for a network of Latin America-based communities promoting liberation of the poor through non-violent means.

As of 2003, he is president of the Honorary Council of Service, Latin American Peace and Justice Foundation, and a member of the Permanent Popular Tribunal. Besides this work, he has published Caminando Junto al Pueblo ("Walking Together with the People", 1995), in which he relates his experiences with non-violence in Latin America.

Gerry Adams MP, MLA, (Irish: Gearóid Mac Ádhaimh; born 6 October 1948) is an international figure, Irish Republican politician and abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for West Belfast. He is President of Sinn Féin, which became the largest nationalist, republican political party in North of Ireland in the 2005 general election. He was leading member of the Irish peace process for the irish political conflict resolution.

Kgalema Motlanthe, Political Activist & ANC Secretary - General was born in 1949. At school he was influenced by the ideologies of the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and Steve Biko. In 1976 he was detained for 11 months for furthering the aims of the African National Congress. He was again arrested in 1977 and sentenced to 10 years in Robben Island. He was released in 1987 and that year was elected Secretary-General of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM). With the resignation of Cyril Ramaphosa, Motlanthe was elected Secretary-General of the African National Congress. A position he still hold.

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