Success and strong participation in the Conference for Peace held in Paris

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Success and strong participation in the Conference for Peace held in Paris

Thursday, 11 June 2015 14:12

You will find below the press release of the organisers:

Success and strong participation in the Humanitarian Conference for Peace in the Basque Country in Paris, June 11 2015

The humanitarian conference for peace in the Basque Country, co-organized this June 11th, 2015, by the International Contact Group, the French League of Human Rights, Conciliation Resources, the Berghof Foundation, Social Forum for Peace in the Basque Country and Bake Bidea has been a success and we’re very happy with its outcome.

This June 11, 2015 marks a joint appeal by local and French civil society for the French state to engage in a peace process and to take steps on the issue of the consequences of the conflict (see below the declaration and list of endorsers)

For the first time, in the heart of Paris, members of parliament, elected representatives and diverse associations, both from the Basque Country and Paris, have joined together in favor of a peace process in the Basque Country.

The presentation by Pierre Joxe of the steps taken in the Basque Country during the last four years for a democratic resolution of the conflict, supported by the explanations of local politicians, JJ Lasserre, Frederique Espagnac and Max Brisson, has been a measure of Basque civil society’s progress since the International Conference of Aiete in 2011.

Following this introduction, the conference has focused on the consequences of the conflict, namely, the issue of victims and prisoners, recalling that there is still a long way to go.

The presentation by transitional justice specialist Pierre Hazan, and the testimony of Roberto Manrique and Axun Lasa, both victims in the Basque conflict, have allowed to understand the suffering caused on every side of the Basque conflict, but also to understand the work and reflection that will be needed to find the paths of dialogue, justice and reparation.

They key elements related to the issue of prisoners and their role in peace processes have been introduced by Raymond Kendall, former director of INTERPOL, who has given us an insight into the necessity of protocols for the release of prisoners as part of a peace process. He has drawn on methods used in other conflicts, as has been evidenced by Gerry Kelly,  MLA. Gabriel Mouesca has supported this reflection with a testimony concerning Basque political prisoners and recalling their commitment to the peace process.

Finally, Michel Tubiana, Honorary President of LDH has presented a summary of this morning and Serge Portelli has presented a statement addressed to the French and Spanish states and the armed group ETA and endorsed by over 110 figures of the French state.

The declaration has been supported and welcomed by Bertie Ahern, former Irish Prime Minister and one of 6 international figures who led the Aiete Conference in 2011, who has closed the conference.

ParisJune11-20151-Declaration ParisJune11-20151-ENDORSERS
conference Humanitarian Paris

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