Declaration of Naples

SI Mediterranean Committee meets in Naples, 4-5 May 2007

Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Mediterranean Committee met on 4-5 May 2007 in Naples, Italy, at a time when socialists and progressive forces around the world must confront the challenge of offering answers to the ever-growing social, political and economic inequalities worldwide, which are made more urgent by the current process of economic globalisation.

From the model of social, religious and cultural plurality in which the peoples of the Mediterranean live, it is up to us to put forward alternatives that - from our socialist and internationalist perspective - can offer a new framework of reference in the face of the current international situation of conflict, in which the Mediterranean region has been the main area where such scenarios have been played out.

We must give answers to the current global threat of terrorism, which menaces on both shores of the Mediterranean, and to the inequality and social injustice which exists there. The socio-economic gap between the Northern and Southern banks of the Mediterranean grows ever greater each day. We must fight these inequalities and work to bring closer the political and economic agendas of all the governments in the region.

Aware of the importance of women in development and in building peace, we urge the Mediterranean States to promote the active participation of women in the institutional and political life of the region.

For all these reasons, we express our renewed commitment to the defence of peace, democracy and human rights, emphasising the importance of fighting terrorism, divisions, and to continue moving forward on the path marked out almost 12 years ago in the Barcelona Declaration, defining a common space of peace and stability in the Mediterranean, creating a zone of shared prosperity, encouraging understanding between cultures, and greater collaboration in social and human spheres.

The aim of a free trade Euro-Mediterranean zone, whose horizons have been fixed for 2010, must be a priority today, taking into account the most sensitive sectors of production - especially in of agriculture - and fully consider the emerging sectors - cultural industries, scientific and technological innovation and sustainable tourism. Furthermore, true South-South cooperation has not been developed, to increase mutual investment. All the countries of the Mediterreanean must share the responsibility to attract the trust of investors towards the South and, particularly, the governments concerned to work towards greater juridical security.

We support greater regional integration and the deepening of this process through greater political cooperation, the development of instruments to promote economic cooperation, and the necessary renewed impetus of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation.

We also welcome the recent establishment of the Alliance of Civilisations by the United Nations, an initiative which fully meets our deepest convictions of pacifism, tolerance and mutual respect, and which is well placed to give answers, from a global perspective, to the real needs of the Mediterranean basin for greater dialogue and understanding.

We invite all the peoples of the Mediterranean and around the world to show their firm commitment to this initiative, to drive forward and widely promote its general principles, to develop and put into practice its recommendations related to education, youth, migration and mass media.

We also welcome the New Neighbourhood Policy of the European Union (ENP), which is yielding its first results, from the logic of offering its members on the Southern borders of the Mediterranean the means of sharing "everything", except the political institutions. However, the logic of the ENP's bilateral agreements should not diminish the leading role of multilateralism, a key element in the Barcelona Process, which allows pluridimensional dialogue and constitutes a very important factor to be taken into account by the ENP.

The full development of the ENP will transform the Mediterranean into a dynamic and competitive zone in the world market. For that to happen, it will be necessary for migration to take place in a framework of legality and from the viewpoint of sustainable co-development, generating wealth for both the emigrating countries and for the host countries. We support the fight against the mafias which control illegal immigration and defend determined efforts to give impetus to measures for greater integration in the host countries.

We express our firm conviction that the Alliance of Civilisations, the Barcelona Process, and the ENP, are the best way forward to bring an end to inequality, radicalism, political instability and war; to build a lasting peace based on democracy, the fair distribution of wealth and shared sustainable development.

The protection of secularism and religious freedom is a challenge for the whole socialist, social democratic and labour movement. Socialists believe in the need to maintain a clear distinction between religion on one hand and the State on the other, as a guarantee of freedom. In no case can secularism or religion be used with the aim of curtailing democracy.

The Mediterranean must consolidate its interdependence in regard to energy, including its transport and distribution, thus reducing its external vulnerability.

In relation to the Middle East, we support the initiatives for peace undertaken by a group of European countries, in the framework of the Quartet's roadmap, approved by the parties concerned and by the United Nations Security Council, as well as the efforts made by Saudi Arabia in favour of a solution to the conflict.

In this sense, we support the Riyadh initiative and regional involvement in the active search for peace.

We congratulate the Palestinian people for the agreement reached on 8 February in Mecca to form a government of national unity, and we urge them to continue implementing the conditions necessary to normalise the political and economic relations of the Palestinian Authority with the international community.

We call on the parties to do their utmost in pursuit of peace, by means of the mutual recognition of viable, democratic and sovereign States, and co-existence in the framework of internationally defined, secure borders.

We urge the withdrawal of foreign troops deployed in Iraq and the organisation, with the backing of the United Nations, of another type of support force distinct from the military presence which came about after the invasion.

We reiterate our support for the democratic forces in Lebanon and the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, and in particular the establishment of a Tribunal to bring to justice those responsible for the assassination of Rafik Hariri and other Lebanese democrats, which must be set up as soon as possible. We equally support the efforts taken by the countries contributing to the new UNIFIL to guarantee peace and security in the South of Lebanon.

We promote military disarmament in the whole Mediterranean basin and express our support for democratic institutions, dialogue between political forces, and the use of international diplomacy and its institutions.

We condemn the recent terrorist attacks in Morocco and Algeria, on 11 March and 10 and 11 April. We express our solidarity with the victims and their families and with the people of Morocco and Algeria.

We reiterate our strongest condemnation of terrorism, for which there can never be any justification, and recall that the fight against it must be based on the scrupulous respect for human rights and the rule of law.

Only through the fight against inequality and poverty, through democratic development, the modernisation of institutions and good government, along with freedom, defending and respecting human rights and gender equality, will we be able to overcome in the long term the current wave of fundamentalism, ultra-nationalism and terror affecting the entire world.

We highlight the need to redouble the international community's efforts to find a definitive solution to the problem of Cyprus and welcome the beginning of the demolition of the wall separating the Greek and Turkish sides in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia, as a sign of thawing which should lead to the demilitarisation of the separation zone and to the opening up of the old city to the free movement of people.

Today, faced with the gravest warnings concerning the protection of our planet’s environment, we underline the importance of boldly confronting the challenge of global warming, a phenomenon to which the Mediterranean region is particularly vulnerable.