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Recommendations to promote the peace process

Recommendations to promote the peace process

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Published by Lokarri
Following the Social Forum to promote the peace process, held last 14th and 15th March the organizers, having heard the opinions of international experts and analysed the social contributions received, wish to propose the following recommendations to promote the peace process
Following the Social Forum to promote the peace process, held last 14th and 15th March the organizers, having heard the opinions of international experts and analysed the social contributions received, wish to propose the following recommendations to promote the peace process

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Published by: Lokarri on Jun 13, 2013
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06/13/2013

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Recommendations
to promote the peace process
Following the Social Forum to promote the peace process, held last 14th and 15th March the organizers, havingheard the opinions of international experts and analysed the social contributions received, wish to propose thefollowing recommendations to promote the peace process:
a) Reach minimum consensus on addressing the main challenges of the peace process
1. - We recommend an exercise of dialogue and reconciliation that would seek to establish a solid basis for futurecoexistence through a wide-ranging and active engagement of institutions, political parties and civil society. Inparticular, we recommend that these groups should work to reach consensus that will contribute to addressing themain challenges of the peace process: disarmament, dismantling ETAs military structures, reintegration of prisonersand people on the run, the safeguarding of Human Rights, as well as dealing with everything that happened in thepast and establishing a basis for coexistence in the future.
b) Design, develop and implement a process of dismantling and disarmament
2. - In order to ensure safety for all citizens, and as an essential part of the peace process, we recommend designinga controlled, ordered and agreed process that will conclude with the disarmament of ETA and the dismantling of its military structures.3. - We recommend that this process, to be carried out in a reasonable timescale, should be able to call oninternational independent facilitator bodies, with the aim of providing security to the states and its institutions andto the general public.
c) Facilitate the integration of prisoners and people “on the run”
4. - We recommend that a consensus is found on a comprehensive solution to the issue of prisoners and people “onthe run”. This is essential to building a stable and lasting coexistence. To do this, we consider it necessary to adaptthe law to the new reality and implement a transitional justice that helps society to consolidate coexistence. At thesame time, and as a starting point, aspects of the prison policy that contravene human rights or that go against thehumanitarian treatment of prisoners must be modified, eliminating exceptional prison policy measures that opposethe international standards. In particular, the situation of those who are seriously ill, the refusal to allow the releaseof prisoners who have served their sentence, and the dispersion of prisoners, which punishes their families.5. - We recommend that the process of reintegration be done through legal channels, accepting that it – beingcomprehensive - may take place in an individualised, staggered manner and within a reasonable timescale. Thisprocess requires that prisoners show their commitment to the new scenario of peace and renounce violent means.Furthermore, as the case may be, there should be recognition on their part of the harm done as a result of theiractions.
 
6. - We recommend that prisoners be active agents of the process of peace and normalization. Therefore, it isimportant to facilitate contacts and the exchange of opinions between prisoners and Basque society and thecompetent institutions, in order to promote coexistence for a future in which no type of violence takes place.7. – We recommend examining the situation of people on the run, exploring ways for their integration into societyand providing solutions for them.
d) Promote and safeguard Human Rights
8. - We recommend implementing the necessary legislative reforms to guarantee that all Human Rights anddemocratic freedoms are fully safeguarded, setting up the necessary mechanisms for that. As a first step, anindependent body must assess the current human rights situation.9. - We recommend establishing the principle that there cannot be room for impunity. Not only is it outside theinternational legal order, but it would also go against the principles of truth, justice and reparation and of the rightsof victims. Nevertheless, international standards do allow the implementation of justice that takes the context of apeace process into consideration.10. - We recommend redimensionºing the number and function of State security forces and bodies to adapt themto the new reality. Mechanisms to control the security forces and bodies of security by institutions and civil societyalso need to be strengthened.
e) Preserve truth and memory to deal with the past honestly and establish the basis for futurecoexistence
11. - We recommend that the institutions promote a broad process of truth, justice and reconciliation of acomprehensive nature that will include society as a whole. The aim is to create the ingredients for future coexistencebased on respect of all Human Rights. To this end it is necessary to address what happened in the past, to recognizeand provide reparation for all the victims and recognize all the harm done. Furthermore, we understand that amechanism for Truth and Reconciliation, promoted and supported by the institutions and independent, and wherecivil society has a main role, is a useful tool capable of dealing with all this.12. - We recommend facilitating different ways of narrating and remembering what happened, encouraging self-criticism in every social and political sector and an honest exercise of recognition of the serious mistakes made. Inthis way, it is necessary to create an official database that is public and complete, of all victims and Human Rights’violations, in order to preserve the memory of what happened in the past before it is lost or becomes blurred.Finally, we consider that all the actions referred to in this document should be compatible with respect for the rightsto the truth, justice and reparation applicable to all victims.
 
Main contributions received
On the 14th and 15th of March 2013 the Social Forum to promote the peace process was held, organised by andsupported by a range of different and plural organisations. The Forum included top-line international experts whoshared their experiences and reflections on disarmament and the reinsertion of prisoners and people on the run, thesafeguarding of Human Rights, and how to deal with the past.At the same time, the organisers set up a process to collect citizens’ contributions. This section of therecommendations document is an effort to summarise of what was contributed, both by the international expertsand other people who participated.We need to begin with a reality: Basque society is now in a new situation, marked by the end of the violence of ETA.It is an unknown situation to date, in which new challenges that require renewed and innovative ideas and actionsare emerging. In the Social Forum we had the opportunity to learn how processes have developed in other parts of the world. Nevertheless, the international experts insisted on the idea that we have to find our own models.
Main conclusions: consensus is necessary
During the two sessions of the Social Forum to promote the peace process we learned of experiences in other peaceprocesses that have taken place in the world. While recognising and respecting the specificity of each of theseexperiences, as a common denominator, in all the cases covered a fundamental idea was highlighted: whenever thechallenges involved in an agenda of decommissioning of weapons, dismantling of structures and reinsertion intosociety, safeguarding Human Rights and dealing with the past and negotiating the basis for future coexistence havebeen taken on, there has been a framework of wide-ranging consensus that has meant that these issues can bedealt with in an orderly, constructive and resolutive manner.Therefore, the main recommendation we extract from the contributions of the international experts and citizens’proposals is the crucial and determining importance of being able to achieve wide-ranging consensus on thepolitical, institutional and social levels that enable the definition of the mechanisms and initiatives that canconsolidate a peace process.

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