'The Mediterranean in the context of post-war Iraq' was the main theme when the members of the SI Mediterranean Committee met in Toledo on 9-10 May. Chair of the Committee, Manuel Marín, of the hosts Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, PSOE, led the proceedings. Felipe González, PSOE, former head of the Spanish Government, and Abderrahman Youssoufi, First Secretary of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP and former Prime Minister of Morocco, introduced the main theme. Vice-President of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, José María Barreda Fontes, and SI Secretary General Luis Ayala, addressed the meeting at the opening.
Delegates examined the special position of the Mediterranean in today's international crises, as a place where many of the current challenges for the international community and social democratic movement are to be faced. Conclusions of this debate outlining the views of Committee members are summarised in the Toledo Declaration which was unanimously approved by the meeting.
The situation in Cyprus and developments in the Middle East received particular attention in the discussions on resolving conflicts in the Mediterranean and the contribution of the Socialist International. With regard to Cyprus, for the first time representatives of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities participated, from the Movement of Social Democrats and the Republican Turkish Party, CTP, and a special resolution on Cyprus was adopted. The situation in the Middle East was introduced by Ambassador Miguel Angel Moratinos, EU Representative for the Middle East, and the Committee heard contributions from Ophir Pines, Secretary General of the Israel Labour Party, and Ilan Halevi, Fatah, the SI Palestinian member.
Other issues were also addressed including the situation in Algeria where the Committee reaffirmed its commitment to continuing to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis and issued a resolution to this end. The Committee agreed to closely follow developments there and decided on the sending of an SI mission to Algeria. The Committee also felt that positive developments in Cyprus might be encouraged by the presence of an SI mission which will be sent to support dialogue between both communities.
Reports on national situations were also received from Albania and Croatia.
The next meeting of the Committee will be held in Croatia, hosted by the Social Democratic Party, SDP, to be followed by a meeting in France, hosted by the French Socialist Party.
The Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, gathering in Toledo, a meeting-point of cultures, on 9-10 May 2003, at a crucial moment for the entire international community after the illegal, illegitimate and unjust war in Iraq,
- Notes that the Mediterranean is today at the centre of the world crisis and the place where the main challenges faced by the international community are occurring: security, peace and war, the threat of a clash of civilisations, regionalisation processes, sustainable development, differences between men and women or the relationship between democracy and development.
- Reaffirms the need to recover the central role of international legality and, therefore, of the United Nations, as a guarantor of peace and security and of the resolution of conflicts between nations, particularly in the reconstruction of Iraq, where the occupying powers cannot undertake the administration of the country. Iraqi citizens must regain full sovereignty over Iraq and, above all, over their wealth.
- Considers that the post-war crisis that has arisen has brought to the fore the urgent need to reform international multilateral institutions, to ensure greater democracy, efficiency and transparency and to adapt them to the new realities and challenges of the 21st century. We must also recover the "Agenda of Hope", and promote the International Penal Court, the agreement on antipersonnel mines, the sustainable development of Johannesburg, etc.
- Values the unprecedented worldwide mobilisation of citizens, and particularly that of women, expressing their rejection of the war in Iraq, as well as the need to translate the great asset that a diverse public opinion represents from a cultural, religious and economic point of view on both shores of the Mediterranean in promoting and advancing Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
- Notes that the Euro-Mediterranean process, launched in Barcelona in 1995, is the ideal model and the only way to promote political, economic and sociocultural cooperation in the region. A greater effort and will are required to make decisive progress in the specific implementation of the agreements. Promoting a formula midway between association and adhesion, as the European Commission has pointed out, could contribute towards this objective. Relations between both shores must be enriched and diversified, extending to civil society, businesses and NGOs.
The relationship between democracy and development must also be reinforced.
- Understands that the fight against terrorism, which is the greatest threat against freedom, human rights and democracy, must be based on a concept of global democratic security that includes fighting against illegal immigration mafias, organised crime, hunger, AIDS and pandemics. We do not accept the militarisation of the response to terrorism as an efficient and valid solution. Very much to the contrary, we must launch a debate on the need for disarmament, starting in our Mediterranean region. Certainly, the disarmament of only the Arab countries would be impossible and unsustainable.
- Expresses its profound satisfaction at the Quartet’s presentation of the roadmap, which is aimed at finding a definitive solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians based on two States and which will lead to the creation, in 2005, of an independent Palestinian State, which is viable and democratic, living in peace and security with Israel and other neighbours.
The Plan must be implemented completely, with no reservations being put forward by either side.
Finally, the Committee trusts and appeals to the will and the determination of both sides to achieve peace.
Considering the present status quo in Cyprus as unacceptable, the Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, meeting in Toledo on 9-10 May 2003:
- Reiterates its position that a settlement of the Cyprus question must be based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter, International Law and the "acquis communautaire";
- Urges the UN Secretary-General to lead the parties concerned to a solution, noting that a positive outcome to his previous initiative for a comprehensive settlement of the issue, supported by both communities, was hindered by the irreconcilability of Mr. Denktash;
- Strongly welcomes the will of the two communities for the free movement of peoples;
- Stresses that communication between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is essential because it promotes reconciliation, rapprochement, mutual understanding, respect and coexistence. Dialogue should therefore be open and expanded, aware that the multicultural character, tradition, political culture, institutions and human rights norms of the EU will serve for the peaceful coexistence and interdependence of the peoples of Cyprus;
- Underlines the urgent need to reach a peaceful, just, democratic and lasting solution to the situation in Cyprus and supports all steps and efforts by the UN Secretary-General to this end.
The Socialist International Mediterranean Committee, meeting in Toledo on 9-10 May 2003, affirms that the new international context makes the search for a peaceful way out of the crisis in Algeria even more necessary, in order to give the Algerian people the freedom to control their own destiny and the means to build a democratic future.
Chair of the Committee
Secretary General of the SI
Social Democratic Party, PSD
Socialist Party of Albania, SPA
Socialist Forces Front, FFS
Socialist Party, PS
Movement of Social Democrats
Social Democratic Party, SDP
Socialist Party, PS
Social Democratic Party of Germany, SPD
Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK
Israel Labour Party
Democrats of the Left, DS
Italian Democratic Socialists, SDI
Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP
TERRITORIES UNDER PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY
Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE
Swedish Social Democratic Party, SAP
Constitutional Democratic Assembly, RCD
Republican People’s Party, CHP
International Union of Socialist Youth, IUSY
Socialist International Women, SIW
Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists
Republican Turkish Party, CTP
Miguel Angel Moratinos, Representative of the European Union for the Middle East
If you are looking for an earlier meeting, please consult the LIBRARY section.