Monday, Oct. 17th
Annan and Adams top list of experts at Donostia Peace Conference
Urkullu (PNV), Urizar (EA), Muñoz (ELA) and Etxaide (LAB) will also attend the Conference, as well as Confebask. However, Tony Blair will not be there due to commitments in the Middle East.
Kofi Annan and Gerry Adams. Photo: EITB
The Basque Citizen Network for Agreement and Consultation, Lokarri, the International Contact Group (GIC) led by South African lawyer Brian Currin and four other international foundations will hold a conference in San Sebastian on Monday 17th October designed to promote a resolution to the Basque conflict.
Former general secretary of the UN and Nobel Peace Prize in 2001, Kofi Annan, will head the international delegation that will participate in the Peace Conference to be held in San Sebastian on Monday October 17th, along with President of Sinn Fein Gerry Adams, former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, former French Minister of Interior and Defense Pierre Joxe and former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland.
Lokarri coordinator, Paul Rios, and Silvia Casale, a member of the International Contact Group appeared at a press conference at Palacio de Aiete on Saturday to release the names of the personalities who will attend the conference in Donocstia-San Sebastian.
Finally, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized for not being able to attend the conference due to his commitments in the Middle East. However, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair's former Cabinet Head, Jonathan Powell will attend the conference in his place.
According to Casale, "what they all have in common is their experience, knowledge and direct involvement in peace processes and conflict transformation."
In addition, Silvia Casale has reiterated that the agencies and groups that promote this conference represent the international community that "supports an inclusive peace process in a humble and respectful way, to encourage and assist so that you can achieve the so longed political normalization."
Official program of the International Peace Conference
The meeting will take place at Aiete cultural park, at Casa de la Paz and Derechos Humanos building.
1pm: Arrival of international world leaders to the main entrance.
1,30pm: Arrival of participants at the main entrance (political parties, trade unions ...).
1,45: Photocall shoot at the Conference Hall.
2pm: Peace Conference kicks off
5pm: Peace Conference finishes
5pm: Final Reading of the Declaration and group photo.
The final declaration will be exclusively in English with simultaneous translations in Euskera, Spanish and French.
Organized by Lokarri
The Donostia Peace Conference was organized by the International Contact Group (ICG), led by the South African lawyer and conflict resolution expert Brian Currin, who proposed a team consisting of other four entities specialist in conflict resoltuions: Berghof Foundation, Conciliation Resources, The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and Noref with the aim of helping the Basque Country to achieve peace.
Profiles of international personalities:
- Kofi Anann (born 8 April 1938) is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006. Annan and the United Nations were the co-recipients of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize for his founding the Global AIDS and Health Fund to support developing countries in their struggle to care for their people.
- Gro Harlem Bruntland (born Gro Harlem, 20 April 1939) is a Norwegian Social democratic politician, diplomat, and physician, and an international leader in sustainable development and public health. She served three terms as Prime Minister of Norway (1981, 1986-89, 1990-96), and has served as the Director General of the World Health Organization. She now serves as a Special Envoy on Climate Change for the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In 2008 she became the recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture.
-Patrick Bartholomew Ahern "Bertie" Ahern (born 12 September 1951) is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 26 June 1997 to 7 May 2008. Ahern served as a Teachta Dála (TD) from 1977 to 2011 and he represented the constituency of Dublin Central. Before he became Taoiseach, he served in the governments of Charles Haughey and Albert Reynolds as Minister for Labour (1987-91) and Minister for Finance (1991-94). He also served briefly as Tánaiste after the break-up of Albert Reynolds' coalition government.
In 1994, Ahern was elected sixth leader of Fianna Fáil. Under Ahern's leadership Fianna Fáil led three coalition governments. After Éamon de Valera, Bertie Ahern's term as Taoiseach is the longest. Ahern resigned as Taoiseach on 6 May 2008 and was succeeded by the then Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.
-Pierre Joxe (born 28 November 1934 in Paris) is a former French Socialist politician and has been a member of the Constitutional Council of France since 2001.
A graduate of the Ecole nationale d'administration, he joined the Court of Audit of France in the 1960s. Whereas his father, Louis Joxe, was Justice Minister of Charles de Gaulle, Pierre Joxe entered politics as a follower of François Mitterrand, first in the Convention of Republican Institutions, then (from 1971) in the renewed Socialist Party (PS). Considered as one of the closest allies of the PS leader, he was elected deputy for Saône-et-Loire département in 1973. He presided over the regional council of Bourgogne from 1979 to 1982.
In 1981, when Mitterrand was elected President of France, Joxe became Minister of Industry for only one month, before he became leader of the Socialist group in the French National Assembly. Then, he joined the cabinet as Interior Minister from 1984 to the Socialist defeat in the 1986 legislative election.
Re-appointed leader of the PS parliamentary group again, he became the Interior Minister after Mitterrand had won a second presidential term in 1988. He was the author of a new law code for Corsica. In 1991, during the Gulf War, he served as Defense Minister.
During March 1993, Joxe gave up politics to lead the Court of Audit of France. Then, he was nominated to the Constitutional Council (2001–2010). He has two sons, Benoît Joxe and Baptiste Joxe, both from his third marriage.
-Gerry Adams (born 6 October 1948 in Belfast, Northern Ireland) is an Irish republican politician and Teachta Dála (TD) for the constituency of Louth. From 1983 to 1992 and from 1997 to 2011, he was an abstentionist Westminster Member of Parliament for Belfast West. He is the president of Sinn Féin, the second largest political party in Northern Ireland and the largest nationalist party.
From the late 1980s onwards, Adams was an important figure in the Northern Ireland peace process, initially following contact by the then Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) leader John Hume and subsequently with the Irish and British governments and then other parties. In 2005, the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) indicated that its armed campaign was over and that it is now exclusively committed to democratic politics.
Under Adams, Sinn Féin changed its traditional policy of abstentionism towards Oireachtas Éireann, the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, in 1986 and later took seats in the power-sharing Northern Ireland Assembly. However, Sinn Féin retains a policy of abstentionism towards the Westminster Parliament, but since 2002, receives allowances for staff and takes up offices in the House of Commons.
-Jonathan Powell (born 14 August 1956) is a British diplomat who served as the first Downing Street Chief of Staff, under British Prime Minister Tony Blair throughout his premiership, from his election in 1997 until his resignation in 2007. The official Downing Street website described his job as having "direct responsibility for leading and co-ordinating operations across Number 10". Despite his low profile, he was arguably Mr Blair's closest political aide. On 7 December 2007, Morgan Stanley announced that Powell would be joining the bank as a full-time senior managing director of its investment banking division.