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March 10, 2005

Closing Plenary

The International Summit on Terrorism and Democracy finished today with a closing ceremony which included closing words by many attending authorities including the Spanish president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The experts who spoke tried to spell out in their speeches the causes of terrorism, as well as the strategies to be followed in order to combat it.


Strict respect of human rights, education in tolerance since childhood, equality and global justice, were some of the proposed solutions. Among the possible causes, misery and frustration of the third world, as well as illegal trafficing and easy access to arms throughout conflictive zones of the planet were emphasized. Religious intolerance was also considered as a possible cause, although leaders of of Islamic countries insisted in seperating the religion which is a social fact, from the possible extremist deviations which feed the terrorist phenomenon.

Another point in which the majority of the leaders agreed upon was a combination of firm police and judicial action with absolute respect for the law. In this sense, he demonstrated firm support for the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, in his desire to create a special spokesman to guarantee that human rights are observed in every action that is taken against terrorism by any member nation.

The event was closed by the Prime Minister of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who aligned himself with the thesis of Annan. Zapatero stated “Killing to defend an idea, is only killing; it is not defending any idea.” Earlier he called for a world summit on nuclear terrorism, and urged for the United Nations to resume leadership when the time comes to coordinate the forces in the international anti-terrorist fight. Finally, he ended his speech with a phrase full of hope, “Tomorrow 1200 babies will be born in Spain, and 180,000 in the whole world. Let us think of them, let us think of offering them a future.”


Complete audio of the Closing Plenary

Transcription (English, Spanish, French)

(Translated from the original for non-english original texts)

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. NATO Secretary General

On this solemn occasion I should like, first of all, to pay deep homage, in the name of the North Atlantic Council, to the victims of the terrible terrorist attack of last year. Homage to the victims, their relatives and friends, to the people of Madrid, and the Spanish people. The attacks of March 11th 2004 were not only an attack against Madrid. They were an attack against us all, against all who despise and reject terrorism.

In commemorating this tragic event, our thoughts go out first of all to the victims, those of the attack in Madrid, and to all the other victims of the scourge of terrorism, wherever in the world it manifests itself. Today is dedicated to mourning and commemoration. But it also allows us to express our common desire and determination. We are, indeed, more united than ever, to fight terrorism wherever it shows its ugly face of death. Individually and collectively, as individual countries and through international organisations many things can be done and we are beginning to reap the benefits of more meaningful cooperation in the fight against terrorism. But it is our obligation to go further; the effective fight entails the maximum coordination and well coordinated complementary efforts of countries and international organisations, with the elimination of artificial institutional obstacles. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, building security and a safer world is not only about fighting against terrorism in all its forms. It is also about projecting stability throughout the entire world through the promotion of the values of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law.

Democracy remains the best answer to terror, as we all recognise today here in Madrid. The Atlantic Alliance is standing up to protect and promote these basic values. In the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Afghanistan and in Iraq. We are adapting our forces and other capabilities to meet the new threats: terrorism, but also the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and failed states. We are building better, deeper relations with farther nations and other international organisations to spread stability and bolster cooperation; and we are reaching out to new regions across the Mediterranean and into the Middle East to foster understanding and assist reform.

Today we came together to pay our respects and to show our resolve in the fights against terrorism. It is a strong demonstration of our determination to do what we have to do and are doing on a daily basis, each minute and each hour of the day. Together, governments, civil society and international organisations have this responsibility, and we owe it to the victims whose loss we mourn and commemorate today. In their memory, NATO will join with the Spanish people tomorrow in the minute of silence at their headquarters in Brussels.

José Manuel Barroso. President of the European Commission

Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all I should like to thank the organisers, the Club of Madrid, their President, Fernando Enrique Cardoso, the city of Madrid, and the President of the government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, for giving me the opportunity to address this quite exceptional gathering on such an important occasion.

March 11th 2005 is the first anniversary of the terrorist attack that has produced the most victims in the most recent history of Europe. That day shall from now on be called* The European Day of Terrorist Victims. I am convinced that the tremendous loss of human lives in Madrid on March 11th last year will be forever etched in the memory of all Europeans. It provides us once again with the opportunity to express our solidarity to those who lost their lives or still suffer the mental and physical consequences of that tragic day. People of twenty different nationalities were victims of that attack. For that reason alone, it has been, and represents, a scar for Europe and for the entire world. I wish, once again, to pay tribute to the courage with which the people directly involved in the attack, the victims, those who helped, the police, the people of Madrid and Spanish society as a whole, reacted to such a terrible occurrence.

That day was a very sad day for those of us who believe in the ideals of freedom, human rights, and the principles of democracy and tolerance. Allow me a personal observation: I was here the day after the attack, to take part in the demonstration that was held in Madrid. As President, at the time, of the Portuguese government, I felt it my duty to show the Spanish people the solidarity of its neighbour and brother, Portugal. I shall never forget the absolutely remarkable atmosphere of silence in which the demonstration took place, nor the very deep sense of feeling* that pervaded the air. For that reason, as well, I wanted to be here today: to show you my deep feeling of solidarity, and the feeling of deep solidarity of the institution of which I am president.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:

The attacks of 11 March 2004, as well as the attacks in the United States of 11 September 2001, and similar attacks, like the ones in Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Russia and Iraq, have shown us that terrorism is a serious threat that concerns us all. Terrorism is a global phenomenon and the struggle against it must therefore be carried to the world stage. It requires determination and unity.

The reaction of the European Union and its partners to the terrorist threat has shown that we do not shy away from the challenge. Terrorists will not win. They will not make progress. We will stand firm. As is normal in a free society, we may not always agree on each and every detail of each and every measure to be taken, but nobody should be under any illusion: the fact that we discuss and sometimes disagree is no signal of weakness. We may discuss and sometimes disagree, but ultimately we unite on the essentials. This is a sign of our strength and our capability to defend what we cherish, namely our freedom.

The European Union had involved itself in the fight against terrorism long before the most recent terrorist attacks. Over the past years, we have witnessed a definite shift of gear as terrorists operate increasingly through international groups and across borders. But at the same time, we have made considerable progress in working more together to confront terrorism. Unfortunately, this did not stop the Madrid terrorist attacks on 11 March from happening. However, our increased cooperation and determined action makes it evermore unlikely that such attacks can have any chance of lasting effect. Terrorists can kill, but they cannot shake our democratic order and our resolve to maintain it.

An attack against a European Union citizen is an attack against all member-state citizens; an attack against a member state is an attack against the Union. It is an attack against the values we stand for. Terrorism seeks to destabilise societies by creating tension, fear and panic. Reactions to the Madrid events of last year made it clear that a terrorist attack on any part of the European Union affects the European Union in its entirety. This is natural, because the European Union is a union of nations whose governments have signed the constitutional treaty that announces the principle of solidarity. The security requirements of such a union reach beyond borders. The positive vote for the European Union Constitution by the Spanish people is a step forward in ensuring that the Spanish people, as well as all the peoples of the European Union, will be future beneficiaries of the principle of solidarity.

I want to reaffirm the commitment of the European Commission to a robust security policy. Security is one of the three pillars of the strategic objective for this Commission’s mandate. The Commission will submit an action plan for the implementation of the Hague Programme put forward by the European Council in the field of justice, liberty and security in June. This action plan will carry our efforts further and make our action more efficient and effective.

Let me illustrate what this means by giving you very concrete examples. 2005 is a crucial year in terms of following up the European Union’s terrorism policy, which concerns notably the prevention, preparedness and response to terrorist attacks in areas such as terrorist financing, prevention and consequence management and critical-infrastructure protection.

The Commission is answering the challenge with deeds; the achievements, however, will be progressive and rely on proactive member-state action and cooperation. After all, the police forces and intelligence services are within the responsibility of member states. The Commission is already working to set up a secure general rapid-alert system to link all existing rapid-alert systems at European Union level, as well as a crisis centre that would, during an emergency, bring together the different services of the Commission. This centre will coordinate effects so as to evaluate the best practical option for action and decide on the appropriate response measures.

The Commission will also present a proposal for a European critical infrastructure warning information network. This will be the first step in preparatory work on establishing a European programme for critical infrastructure protection. The Commission is also working to deliver by next year a proposal for establishing a European law-enforcement network for the fight against terrorism. This should link the law-enforcement authorities of the member states with Europol and the Commission’s rapid-alert system.

The Commission will present a communication on measures to ensure greater security of explosives, bomb-making equipment and firearms this year. This communication is likely to contain a proposal for a Council decision on the establishment of a European network of bomb-disposal squads.

At the same time, the Commission is working to deliver a legislative package on access to relevant law-enforcement information and the necessary safeguards, in particular data protection. It is also preparing proposals aimed at enhancing the flow of information between counterterrorism-related services at national and European institutional level. We will continue to work with our external partners in international organisations to promote a comprehensive global approach to the fight against terrorism. We are making the fight against terrorism an integral part of the European Union’s external relations.

All of this may sound quite technical, but all of this is important for our capacity to face the challenge; and the progress made shows you that the European Commission takes this challenge very seriously. In doing so, we are determined to balance security consideration with the protection of individual rights and freedoms. We should never forget that the fight against terrorism is precisely for protecting these very rights and freedoms.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights underscores the protection of civil liberties in the European Union. With the integration of the Charter into the new Constitution, the fact that fundamental human rights guide the development of the European Union’s security policies will be further emphasised. But one thing should be clear: the rights threatened by terrorism, such as the rights to life, freedom and security, are among the most cherished human rights. The preservation of those rights is the fundamental task that should mobilise all our democratic societies.

We cannot bring back the lives of lost loved ones, but we can work together to make our societies more secure and offer the promise of a better world to our children. We owe this much to the victims. Their suffering and the suffering of their relatives call us to the task. The best way to remember them is to take the concrete steps that can be taken as quickly and effectively as possible. It is in this spirit that we honour them today.

Thank you very much.

Jean-Claude Juncker. President of the Council of Europe

Your Majesty, Honourable President, my dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. We are gathered here in Madrid on the eve of the terrible attack that propelled this city to martyrdom. We are gathered on the eve of such a painful anniversary because we wish to honour the memory of those whose lives were curtailed by the cruelty others, by the strength of a ghost that came from elsewhere and decided to strike here. We wish to honour the memory of those who lost their lives. We wish to honour the memory of so many lives, so many unfulfilled dreams, so many hopes that were never allowed a tomorrow. We wish to honour the memory of those who, as relatives of the victims, lived that day as the day on which some of their loved ones were taken away from them forever. We wish, in short, to honour the memory of those who, because of the cruel desire of others, will never themselves become parents.

The day Madrid was struck with such awful cruelty, all of Europe, indeed I daresay, the entire planet, was struck with the same intensity and in the same degree. It doesn’t matter where terrorism strikes. When it does strike, it is a blow to everyone everywhere. The victims of terrorism do not have any particular nationality. We were therefore all struck on that day, as we are all struck every time blind terrorism treads its ugly feet anywhere upon our collective landscape. We are all victims of its dreadful passage.

The European Union has now made the fight against terrorism one of its priorities. It was long overdue. In so doing, we have elaborated a definition of terrorism. Prior to that, Europe had always been extremely hesitant to coordinate joint action in the domain of criminal law, thinking, as we had always done, that it was something that should be restricted to the national law of each respective territory. We have agreed on a European mandate with regard to arrest, whereas before we thought that everything relevant to a code for the necessary legal procedure should correspond to each individual country. We have designated, in the person of Mr De Vries, a European coordinator for the fight against terrorism. He is doing an exemplary job.

We are fighting to eliminate hidden avenues of finance for terrorism, but are still quite far from what we would like to achieve. We are doing everything we possibly can to ensure better cooperation and collaboration among our intelligence services, but here too we are some way from the results we hope for and should have. Our intelligence services continue to act as if security concerns were an exclusively national issue, when it is continental phenomenon, reaching across Europe, into the greater international arena, and, indeed, across the entire planet. We cannot continue to fight against the financing of terrorism as we have been doing so far. It behoves us to put into place the instruments necessary to enhance the legal arsenal of the European Union. We must also grasp that although there is no justification for terrorism, (because there can never be any justification for killing anyone), we have to fight against the channels of recruitment from which terrorist networks can draw support.

We will never manage to eradicate the desire to do evil, by harming or killing others, from the heads of those with warped minds. But those who are driven by fanatic plans and designs, those who do not like others, and cannot therefore like or love themselves, can recruit followers in the kind of terror which is fed by so much injustice, poverty and underdevelopment, against which we have not been able to efficiently fight. Poverty, misery and despair provide fertile ground where terrorists can find support.

So please let us not be naive. To fight against terrorism in all its forms we must stop despising the other. We must again learn, if we never did learn it, the notion of respect for the other. We must learn that we cannot distinguish between men by subdividing them into categories, depending on whether they are believers or not, depending on whether they believe in one God, several gods, or in just the one god. Please let us take fresh stock of things and grasp the need for mankind to head in the same direction. The need for wealthy nations, those who pretend to know, but are often grossly ignorant of what is really essential, to increase and reinforce their efforts in the field of international solidarity. It isn’t sufficient to cry, although tears are necessary. We must act, help those who live in great poverty, instead of focusing our energies on what are often luxury concerns.

Thank you very much.

Josep Borrell. President of The European Parliament

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

This morning the European Parliament, of which it is my honour to be President, held a solemn sitting in homage to the victims of terrorism; on this day, which shall, from now on, be instituted as a day of remembrance. This also is an initiative of the European Parliament. The first and major homage and our greatest show of respect for the victims must be a show of unity from those us who believe in democracy; we must not show them the flags of political confrontation. What we must show them is a symbol of those who believe in human rights and the rule of law. Which doesn’t mean that we can’t have differences of opinion on the best way to fight terrorism. It is precisely that which gives special significance to this very major gathering being celebrated here today: what is the best way to fight this scourge.

Spain is a country unfortunately used to the threat of terrorism. We have been suffering it for quite some time now, and now have many deaths on our plate as a result of it. But even in the most difficult times of the fight against the terrorist group ETA, Spanish society never chose to forego its freedoms. But that terrible attack of March 11th, which had all the bearings of those who carried out another attack, on September 11th 2001, forced us Europeans to face the fact that terrorism was a world phenomenon. Until then, terrorism in Europe had been a local problem: each state, each country, had its terrorists: the IRA, ETA, The Red Brigade. Each state had its own terrorists and it was a phenomenon of local problems that each country attempted to deal with in a framework of relative indifference towards what neighbours might have been suffering.

But after September 11th and March 11th, terrorism acquired a global dimension, and now calls for a global response. The response given by Europeans is in keeping with our conviction that not only are our lives at stake. The values upon which the way in which we live with and alongside each other is based also are. Now is the time to assess the response we gave after March 11th. It was a response based on the strength of the Rule of Law, which forces us to ask ourselves whether all the measures we had undertaken to apply really were undertaken or whether we were driven by the emotion of the moment to sign agreements that have hardly transcended that - the mere signing of agreements, which have failed to translate into real, effective and efficient instruments in the fight against terrorism.

For that reason, I wish to applaud the European Commission communiqué and the proposals we have just heard from its President, Mr. Barroso. Because, to fight against terrorism, we need more Europe. Yet another reason for more Europe. Especially when, as we can see, the traditional forms of legal and police collaboration are clearly not effective. We still have much to do in Europol, in European Public Prosecution, in the fight against the laundering of capital, in the implementation of the measures contained in the project for a European Constitution, which has just been overwhelmingly ratified by the Spanish people.

Ladies and gentlemen, the fight against terrorism also requires us to ask what are the causes of it, what are the instruments and channels through which it grows and spreads throughout the world. I know this is an uncomfortable debate, indeed a very difficult debate. Some reject it all together because they think that to talk about causes is tantamount to, or close to, finding justification for it. Nothing further from the truth: trying to understand the ‘why’ is the best way to fight the ‘what’. Trying to explain anything is very far from in any way justifying that thing. Preventive measures have to be applied. But not prevention simply through the declaration of war. Prevention in the broadest sense of the term: a deep look into the very core of society, with careful attention being paid to the integration of immigrants, to social, cultural and religious integration, to dialogue, to the fight against discrimination, to external prevention, to cooperation, at many levels, among intelligence services and legal systems.

The President of the Council of Europe said it: war, poverty, the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It must be remembered that the UN has resolved 12 agreements on this. But so far only four have been ratified by the 25 member states of the European Union.

So it is all well and good to talk about effort and emotion, but let us not lose sight of reality. And that reality, ladies and gentlemen, is one in which Europe - and I take the opportunity here to highlight the European model - can be a good example. It can greatly contribute to peace and stability in the world. By the use, in the fight against terrorism, of procedure based on the constitutional and civil dimension that European society represents. We are states that have learnt to cooperate with each other based on a way of thinking that considers the security of each part to be crucial to the security of the whole.

We are citizens who have been through secular wars and have decided a future in common by avoiding the imposition of the hegemony of any one over the other. Citizens who consider ourselves citizens of their country as much as of others. Citizens of a community of 500 million people, based on the Rule of Law. With institutions that cooperate among each other; with judges that accept carrying out an order given by a judge from another country. With legislators who consider as their own legislation originating in another country; with emigrants that can be better integrated not only because, as is well known, they are needed in Europe, but also because, with the cultural diversity they bring, our own culture will be further enriched by their presence among us. With citizens that take to the streets in their millions to protest against any war they consider unjust; or who are equally mobilised in their hundreds of thousands to show their solidarity with victims of any natural disaster anywhere. It is a model that can serve as a reference, a model that can serve in that fight against terrorism, which can only be overcome through the values of freedom and democracy.

Thank you very much.

H.R.H. Prince Mulay Rachid, Kingdom of Morocco
[Available in audio format]
H.E. Mr. Samuel Schmid, President of the Swiss Confederation
[Extended version of the speech]
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

One year has past since the terrorist attacks in Madrid. One year passed but the shock remains. We are still mourning, still feeling our sympathy for the children, families and friends of those who died in Madrid as well as in New York, Beslan, in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Terrorism and its consequences are an extraordinary threat to the fundamental values of a free and pluralist society as well as to the rights of every individual. The fight against terrorism and its causes has to be the common task of all nations. It has to support the efforts of the international community to respond to this challenge with a wide range of measures. The attacks of 11 September 2001 demonstrate once again the need for greater police cooperation among all States. Switzerland works in close cooperation with foreign police authorities. For instance, in relation to the attacks of 11th of March, cooperation between Spain and Switzerland has proved to work well and to be effective. As we know, numerous international conventions to this effect have been drafted, and Switzerland is a party to all of them.

The fight against terrorism has long been a major concern of Switzerland. It employs all the means at its disposals to prevent financial or logistical support for terrorist groups or acts. In Switzerland, for example, we apply the Money Laundering Act, which stipulates that in justified cases of suspected money laundering, links with a crime or a criminal organisation, banks and financial intermediaries are obliged to block the accounts in question. For Switzerland as an important international financial centre, the fight against terrorism, and especially cooperation in the identification and blocking of assets attributed to international terrorism has become an important issue. From a Swiss point of view - and we think our partners share this assessment - international cooperation is working well. It could, however, be made more effective if the exchange and sharing of information between States, and between international organisations and States were better.

Terrorism is to be regarded as a very dangerous and heinous form of international crime. International cooperation to fight it is therefore not a military matter but basically follows the methods and procedures of police and judicial assistance in criminal matters. All the international instruments in the field of combating terrorism have been modelled according the existing bodies of criminal assistance and extradition treaties. Its principal means are requests for information, seizure, arrest and extradition.

Let us not forget the victim's perspective. Switzerland considers that national and international solidarity must be shown to victims of terrorist acts. At the domestic level, the law of 1993 to protect the victims of crimes can be applied to victims of terrorist acts as well. At the international level, Switzerland supports various initiatives to protect and help the victims of terrorist acts, for example, the “Guidelines on the protection of victims of terrorist acts”, recently adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

The struggle against international terrorism is primarily to be conducted through constitutional methods of fighting crime, in respect for human rights and the international law. As depositary of the Geneva Conventions Switzerland will keep on strengthening the mechanisms of compliance with law. Switzerland has adopted the unequivocal position that international humanitarian law must be applicable in situations of armed conflict and adhered to by all conflicting parties and individuals, whether they are participating in the conflict or are uninvolved civilians.
Achieving better compliance with international humanitarian law during armed conflict must be the permanent concern of all States parties to the Geneva Conventions.

Let us cooperate in the fight against terrorism! Let us enhance cooperation between governments, through the United Nations and in other appropriate international organisations. We must continue to take the necessary and difficult steps to counter terrorism by reinforcing the police cooperation and by fighting against the causes which are at the origin of terrorism; causes like the lack of democracy, violation of human rights or regional conflicts.

Thank you.

Hamid Karzai. President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Excellencies Heads of State, Excellencies Heads of Government, Your Royal Highnesses:

Being in Madrid today, probably no other nation is so much reminded of tragedy as we the people of Afghanistan, for we suffered what happened in Madrid in March last year for so many years, every day of our lives for probably the entire decade of the last century. And we kept telling the world about the suffering of our people. We kept telling Europe, America, the Muslim world and the United Nations. We told them what was coming from Afghanistan, what was happening in Afghanistan, the atrocities there, the preparation there against the rest of the world. We were either not believed or taken lightly, probably because we were a poor country. Probably because the loss of an Afghan child to terrorism or an atrocity did not matter as much, for we had no economy to contribute to others, no television to relate our story to you, no industry to sell our goods and no money to buy goods from the rest of the world. So it didn’t matter if an Afghan child was killed, Afghan homes were ruined or Afghan orchards were destroyed by terrorism.

The conscience of the world only woke up when New York and Washington were attacked. And then the world machinery, led by the United States, began to work in Afghanistan. And when the international coalition arrived in Afghanistan, the world recognised the massiveness, depth and gravity of the disaster and misery there and the preparations from Afghanistan against the rest of the world. And there the world found out the desire of the Afghan nation for liberation from the atrocity and menace of terrorism.

And because of that desire from the Afghan people and the help of the international community, we saw that terrorism from Afghanistan was driven away and defeated in less than two months. It was only possible because the international community came to help a nation incapacitated and disabled by years of war, intervention and the arrival of terrorist extremist elements. Only then did the world recognise the plight and desire of Afghans.

But thankfully, with tremendous gratitude, we the Afghan people received the international community to free us. And we saw that it had immediate fruit for us in Afghanistan and for the rest of the world. Now we have over five million children going to school; now we have our women liberated, present in society, part of the vibrant media of the country and participating in elections to choose their own government. Now we have a Constitution, perhaps one of the most enlightened constitutions in that part of the world or perhaps in the world. A nation moving forward, where women will be at least 27% of the Parliament, where rights are given, where human rights are respected and guaranteed, where the economy is recovering and where institutions are being built.

All because the world got together to help a nation that wanted and needed help. I’m reminded here of an extremely beautiful poem – and I’m reminded every day of this poem when I look at the world, at Afghanistan and at international cooperation – by the great Persian poet Saadi, who said ‘Mankind is like members of a body created from the same element. When one part of humanity is in pain, the other part will suffer the same.’ We saw exactly that in Afghanistan, and exactly we saw that in New York, and exactly we saw that in Madrid, and exactly we saw that in Indonesia, and all other parts of the world. For us, the people of the world, Afghanistan proved to be turning the behaviour and philosophy behind terrorism wrong. Extremism and terrorism try to divide people, break up societies and families, and hold people down by hatred, by inflicting harm. In Afghanistan, the Afghan people, together with the rest of us here, the international community, proved the other way: that that cannot happen when the world, mankind, women and men around the world, get together and help each other.

In Afghanistan today, the example is not one of terrorism succeeding; the example is one of mankind succeeding and defeating terrorism. Of Europe and Afghanistan, of America and Afghanistan, of Japan and Afghanistan, of the Muslim countries and Afghanistan all joining hands to help a nation and thereby to help the rest of mankind. And that is the example we should follow and stick to. That is the way to defeat terrorism and all other violence that may affect our children and our lives.

Thank you very much.

Girma World-Giorgis, President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Your Excellency Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Spain, Your Excellency Mr Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil and President of the Club of Madrid, distinguished delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen:

First of all, I would like to thank you for the applause. I didn’t get to the podium to address you only due to technical reasons. I am singularly honored to have been invited to attend this international summit on democracy, terrorism and security. I would like to thank His Excellency Mr Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of the Club of Madrid, for the invitation he kindly extended to me. My sincere appreciation also goes to the organisers of the summit. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Spanish government for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to my delegation and myself since our arrival in this beautiful city of Madrid.

The people in the government of Ethiopia were deeply shocked when Madrid’s deadly rail bombing happened on 11 March 2004. Ethiopia has strongly condemned that act of terrorism and expressed its sympathy to and solidarity with families of victims and the Spanish people and government. My country once again expresses its deepest condolences to those who had to go through the pain of losing loved ones in that attack and to the people and government of Spain.

The people in the government of Ethiopia have been, for several years, in the forefront in the fight against terrorism. It has been, and should be, the responsibility of any government to defend the life of innocent, law-abiding citizens from the scourge of terrorism. Nevertheless, it has to be also clear that terrorism will not be abated by the day-to-day violent confrontation of security forces or by imposing stringent security measures. To fight terrorism sustainably, first of all a consensus needs to be reached on the causes and solutions of terrorism at national, regional and international level. Dialogue at levels and across civilisations is a primary condition to enable concerted, collective, coherent international action and solidarity against terrorism.

From our experience, we believe that poverty, injustice, instability and absence of democratic governance are the main sources of terrorism. Poverty creates marginalised people, who are denied access to basic social services and resources. These marginalised social groups will continue to serve as fertile ground for terrorists. That is why it is imperative to focus on reducing poverty in the whole world to fight the root causes of terrorism. World security will remain vulnerable if we allow this situation to continue. That is why today it has become important to look for integrated fundamental solutions to abate and destroy terrorism from the face of the world. Moreover, democracy and democratic institutions are the time-tested weapons in the struggle against terrorism. Governments should not be allowed to abuse and violate the civil and democratic rights of citizens. We can only win against terrorism by further democratising our societies.

Finally, I would like to appreciate the pioneers of the spirit of the Club of Madrid. The views and ideas forwarded by the great personalities with rich and diverse backgrounds will help to shape the global struggle against terrorism. Again, I would like to reiterate my thanks to the authorities of Spain and the Mayor of Madrid.

Thank you very much.

H.R.H. Grand Duke of Luxembourg
Honourable Presidents, Your Royal Highness, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Many things have been said in the course of this very moving day. About lots of things. Many suggestions have been put forward, and there is no shortage of promises and undertakings. Now that we come to the end of our day of work, I wish to share with you, in my capacity as Head of State of the country that is about to take up the presidency of the Council of the European Union, a few thoughts about terrorism.

Terrorism is an ill, like a cancer, which never openly manifests itself, and which has been eating away at us all for over twenty years now; at our sense of humour, at our lifestyles, at our democratic societies. I am convinced that the unimaginable attacks of March 11th last year and September 11th 2001, constitute, in spite of their proximity to each other, a watershed in the history of mankind. Those cowardly attacks, too atrocious to have possibly been imagined, cannot be compared to an act of war, like the thousands of acts of war that, Alas! mankind has also known. Terrorism is, the truth be told, a very special kind of enemy; one that hardly ever openly shows its face. Its trademark is cowardice. It presents no visible front line of battle. That line of battle is potentially omnipresent, quite probably at our very front doors; and it doesn’t spare journalists. Terrorists eliminate the eyes and ears of those who may bear witness to their crimes. Policies, i.e., the means that have to be implemented to tackle this evil, require the most diverse means: the best possible coordination of our intelligence services, as well as between international organisations, which must be recognised as the competent and authorised bodies in the field. That, however, is not sufficient.

We must not lose sight of the fact that poverty and the absence of hope are often fertile ground for the recruitment of those who throw bombs to kill and terrorise. Armed with such a perception, and in our endeavour to prevent tragedies like those of Madrid and New York, and even other tragedies elsewhere, which have devastated so many families, destroyed so many couples, annihilated so many friendships, from being repeated, we need meetings such as this one, which brings us all together here today.

That is why I wish to congratulate the Club of Madrid and the Spanish authorities for having taken this initiative. I would also like to thank the Mayor of this wonderful city for welcoming us: the 192 victims and 1,900 wounded are not forgotten. I am sure they never will be. As the Honourable Mayor said, Madrid was wounded and outraged, but Madrid is by no means beaten. Like those who have spoken before me, my deepest respect to the memory of those who have lost their lives. The people of Luxembourg are, as they were on the very day it received news of this horrible event, with the families who have been so cruelly torn apart. Honouring their memory, here and anywhere similar tragedies may occur, would only ever mean anything if we collectively afford ourselves the means to avoid the repetition of similar tragedies. The survival of our democratic societies and their freedom depend on it.

Thank you.

Abdoulaye Wade. President of the Republic of Senegal

Your Majesty, Royal Highness, Your Excellency, Heads of State and Government, Mister President, Members of the Club of Madrid, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I should like, first of all, to thank the Spanish government and the authorities of the city of Madrid for the warm welcome given to me and my delegation. It is a great pleasure for me to come to Spain again after my official visit last November. It is significant that the Club of Madrid, a forum for reflection, dialogue and action, has chosen Madrid as the place to discuss the interaction between democracy, terrorism and security. This country and this city symbolise, through an experience of pain and courage, the very major question every modern democracy that wishes to live in freedom has to tackle, in the face of those who believe neither in the sacred nature of human life nor in the respect for freedom; and even less in peaceful coexistence within the acceptance of our differences.

A year ago to the day, innocent inhabitants of Madrid awoke only to be brutally swept into a terrorist wave, with the bloody attacks of March 11th. I take the opportunity to salute their memory and the memory of other victims in this country and elsewhere. The heavy price they have paid as a result of this scourge of modern times is a constant call to us all: to remind us of the responsibility we all have, to act with solidarity. So the demons of evil do not get the upper hand over the virtues of good. So that barbaric cruelty, disguised under its most hideous face, does not undermine the very foundations of civilisation; so that people gripped by fear and confusion do not give in to the temptation of hate and further confrontation. Deep down, within this horrible work of destruction, terrorism does not only take innocent lives; it also seeks to sow the seeds of confrontation among peoples. It is a trap into which we must not fall.

Terrorism in all its forms is something outside of all law, morality and religion. That is why it is dangerous, for example, to point an accusing finger at Islam every time deranged minds choose to speak in its name; sick minds that are in fact driven by utterly sick motives, to attack innocent victims. The truth is that we are today witnessing an attempt, by a minority of fanatics who would never find in The Holy Koran any theological base for the choice of violence, to usurp Islam, a religion of peace and tolerance.

Islam is the only religion where people greet each other with the word “Salam”. At the African conference against terrorism I had taken the initiative to organise in Dakar in 2001 after the September 11th attacks, I recalled that the word “peace” appeared 668 times in The Holy Koran, whereas the word “war” did so only 8 times. So one obviously has to seek a doctrine of violence elsewhere, not in the holy scriptures.

In that passage, taken from Chapter 2, verse 136 of The Koran, I read: “Say, we believe in Allah, and in the revelation made by the Lord to Abraham, to Ismael, to Isaac, to Jacob and the tribes; say that we believe in what he told Moses and Jesus and all the prophets. We make no distinctions between them and we bow before Allah, in allegiance and submission”.

The challenge that faces us is to engage in an intellectual debate to show that there is an irretrievable gulf between terrorism and religion. In my opinion, there is no possible neutrality in this debate, and silence would be an admission of guilt. It is for this reason that I am here, to bear witness, in my own name, and in the name of the people of Senegal. But we must also see that with its present dimension, given the diversity of its means and the complexity of its methods, terrorism leaves us with no choice but to act in a concerted and coordinated manner, within a true world alliance against a phenomenon that has many paradoxes, one of which is that it makes use of the tools of progress and modernity to wreak chaos and regression. It is in this context that modern democrats must fight against terrorism. It will, by no means, be an easy task.

Unlike terrorism, democracy obeys an ideal. It functions according to a series of ethical principles, rules and considerations. For democracy, human life is sacred and in its daily functioning it also respects human rights. The rule of law prevails, as does the respect for the physical and moral integrity of the human being, as well as freedom of movement, thought and opinion, the presumption of innocence, respect for the right of defence, as well as all the many rules which are so fundamental and so sacred that everyone within democratic regimes may benefit from them, even terrorists, who have to be tried and judged.

Therein lies the greatness of the democratic ideal. It obviously leads to difficult situations. Hence the increasing necessity for us to find the right balance between the exercise of freedom and the demands of safety and security. The transport sector in general, air transport in particular, provides a good example, what with the very strict control, the control of the civil state and the different restrictions imposed, in airspace, to individual and collective liberties. If the free world is thus forced to make certain difficult adjustments, it should not give in to fear and despair. After all, the ultimate objective of terrorists is perhaps to impose on honest people ways of thinking and acting that are dictated by panic and security concerns bordering on paranoia. Be that as it may, democracy, in spite of its constraints, must transcend hurdles placed before it by terrorism and overcome it because it embodies virtue, is the source of life, and carries within the values and aspirations of peoples.

In an inter-dependent world, no continent, no country can, on its own, successfully deal with this gigantic task. On an international scale, the action of the security council, through the committee for the fight against terrorism, created by resolution 1373, deserves the support of member states in order, as is the aim of the council, to deprive terrorism of space, money and places of refuge, and in order to create a network for the sharing of information and the proper coordination of concrete action. I would like to stress that, in keeping with resolution 1373, Senegal has already presented an initial report to the Security Council, plus two further complementary reports, and that so far Senegal has ratified all 12 international agreements for the fight against terrorism. We are, at present, in the process of putting the final touches to legislation for its adaptation to these different international legal stipulations.

In Africa, after everything that arose out of the Dakar conference that I had called, the African Union, acting upon a proposal by Senegal, adopted, last July, additional protocol further to the Algiers convention of 1999, for the prevention of and the fight against terrorism. The real value of what this protocol added was that it put into place additional mechanisms for better cooperation and harmonisation of the efforts of Member States of the Union in the fight against terrorism.

I also wish to recall that Africa has, in Algiers, a centre for the fight against terrorism, which was opened last October. Sub-regionally, in West Africa, we are coordinating our efforts to fight against terrorism within the framework of the ECOWAS, setting up an inter-governmental group of action to deal with money laundering, and, within the WAEMU, through a directive that has now become a uniformed law, since November 2003, to tackle the laundering of capital within the Member States of the Union. But beyond preventive and repressive action, we need to maintain permanent contact and carry out concerted, coordinated action to avoid the kind of suspicion that terrorism thrives on.

Ignorance, fear of the other, incomprehension and prejudice are very strong barriers in the minds of men. These barriers constitute many mortal traps, for democracy as well as for men of goodwill. A proper grasp of the religious fact is fundamental if we are to rob terrorism of one of its tools. The conference on Islamo-Christian dialogue that I have taken the initiative to organise in Dakar in 2007, fits into this vision. Major world leaders, including his Holiness Pope John Paul, have given their support to this initiative.

Why Senegal? Because we believe that in our small country we have gone a long way towards resolving the great equation that causes so many very serious problems in the world: peaceful co-existence among religions. In a country of 10 million people, 95% Muslim and 5% Christian, we have never known religious confrontations; nothing but harmonious co-existence. This 95% Muslim country has, for the last 40 years, chosen a Christian president. And today, the different religious brotherhoods live together in complete peace. The Tidjania and the Mouride, as well as all the brotherhoods, have so often prayed in any of the many different mosques of either brotherhood. Just a few days ago, I myself prayed in the biggest Tidjania mosque with his majesty King Mohammed VI, when I belong to another religious brotherhood.

This tolerance that characterises Senegal, and which has allowed us to resolve this great question and difference, is one of the reasons for which I accepted the suggestion to call that big summit in Dakar, where world leaders will launch an appeal to all communities for mutual tolerance and comprehension. In the face of the terrorist threat, modern democrats must begin immediately, and with firm resolve, the revolution of mentalities; we must move to overcome ignorance through education, move to get to know the other, to admit and value our differences via recognition of the equal dignity of all cultures and civilisations. It is with this message of hope that I want to conclude, wishing you every success in the work you are about to undertake in this summit, and thanking you for your attention.

Stjepan Mesié. President of the Republic of Croatia
Honourable guests and participants, ladies and gentlemen:

Given the theme around which this Conference organised by the Club of Madrid revolves I did not, for one single second, hesitate to accept the invitation to participate in it. It is indeed a very burning question in the world today; it is a global question.

Democracy is the system in which we live and which we continue to build day by day. In some of our countries this system is already a tradition. In others – pardon me for saying so – it is being discovered. However, there are no differences with regard to our determination and vocation for democracy.

Security is a state without which democracy cannot be developed, or even be maintained. I would go so far as to say that without security there is no democracy. In the same way that without democracy there can be no real, authentic security. What is imposed by dictatorships and autocratic regimes is not security. It is a chimera of peace, maintained solely and exclusively by fear. Consequently, democracy and security mutually condition each other.

Furthermore, terrorism is a threat as much for democracy as it is for security. On the one hand terrorism, which isn’t called “blind terrorism” without reason, nullifies the security of each and every one of us. On the other, an atmosphere of general insecurity brought about by terrorism is fertile ground for the growth of antidemocratic tendencies, where the desire for rule by an “iron fist” appears, in order, as is often said, to impose order. The two things are real dangers and both have to be tackled. To speak, therefore, about democracy, security and terrorism is necessary and absolutely indispensable. For all of us there is no doubt, and our Spanish hosts had the painful experience of it a year ago, that we are now facing a global terrorist threat of hitherto unknown dimensions. Not only is democracy in danger. Civilisation as we know it also is. I have always said, and I shall repeat it again today: we do not abide by the notion of a conflict of different civilisations or religions. What we are witnessing is a conflict between civilisation and non-civilisation. In that conflict, democracies must find the way to efficiently counter this challenge that has been thrown at them, without risking, or in any way endangering, their essence, their roots.

A global response must be found for a global challenge.

That is where I see the United Nations playing an important role. It is also an enormous responsibility. I see, undoubtedly, an important role for the big and powerful who, depending on the nature of the fight in which we are involved, can and must give more. But, I wish to underline, the fight against terrorism encumbers us all. It can only be successful if it is a fight we all take on.

What is happening, and I very much fear it will continue to happen, is that the fight against terrorism is being taken advantage of to limit some of the basic rights and freedoms of man. Maybe some of those undertakings, cannot, in isolated instances, be avoided. However, they cannot and must not, with any pretext whatsoever, become a tendency. Even less a conscious policy. The value of democracy will be seen, precisely, in the safeguarding of its key attributes, while it increasingly gains ground in its fight against terrorism.

In other words: the dilemma is not a choice between limiting or suspending the rights and freedoms of man, and victory in the fight against global terrorism. The real dilemma is the following: will we take the bait of iron fisted rule and everything that such rule entails, or shall we reaffirm democratic values, knowing fully well that such limitations only signify the beginning of the triumph of terrorism? For me, there can only be one answer to such a question.

One more thing: the fight against terrorism has to be waged on several fronts. It must be carried out against those who are directly involved in the execution of terrorist acts, against those who order them, and against those who actively participate in them. We also have to fight against those who support and help them, whatever their reason. But, we will never be totally successful in that fight, we will never be able to carry out our task, if we do not combat, as well, the deep causes that facilitate the appearance of terrorism. That is where I consider that The United Nations, as the organisation that belongs to us all, can do a great deal. It is also where every one of our countries must give absolutely everything it can.

The fight against terrorism is a fight for democracy and security; for countries, peoples and individuals. It would be good for that to be the message coming out of this Conference.


Continued in: Closing Plenary (Part 2)


The president of the spanish goverment, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, during the closing summit speech. (Photo: Club de Madrid)
The Norwegian prime minister, Kjell Magne Bondevik, adresses the audience. (Photo: Club de Madrid)
With the collaboration ofSafe Democracy Foundation
Members of the Club de Madrid

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