Declaration on security and the fight against terror
Meeting of the SI Council at the United Nations, New York, 6-7 July 2015
The Council of the Socialist International, meeting at the United Nations, New York on 6-‐7 July, held discussions on the theme of security and the fight against terror. These interventions reflected views from around the world on the need for strong action against terrorism in search of a more secure future.
The Council equally recalled its previous declaration on resolution of conflicts in Geneva, acknowledging the need for the social-‐democratic movement to remain at the forefront of the struggle to meet the twin challenges of fighting terror and building peace, in order to make the world more secure.
Every loss of innocent life to an act of terror is a tragedy, and the Council expresses its solidarity with all those affected by terrorist attacks around the world. Eradicating terrorism from the world is a fundamental goal for the social democratic movement, to protect lives and livelihoods. A life in security free from the fear of indiscriminate attack is a basic human right, but something that is currently denied to many millions of people across the world. No region of the world has been exempt from the scourge of terrorism, and it will take a coordinated global effort to tackle this menace.
The terrorist organisation known as ISIS or Daesh continues to pose a great threat to both the areas of Syria and Iraq in which it most widely operates, and the world. Their campaign of violence and destruction against both human life and cultural heritage reflect the twisted ideology that these fanatics espouse. The scale of the atrocities perpetrated by Daesh necessitates a response from the whole of humanity, in order to halt and reverse their advance.
The Council further expresses its support to all the forces in both Iraq and Syria who are at the forefront of the battle against ISIS. The Kurdish people in the Kurdistan region and liberated areas in Syrian Kurdistan-‐ Rojava in particular, have led efforts to establish a democratic, non-‐sectarian, ethnically plural and gender equal society and have made great sacrifices in the ongoing battle against the extremists. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is providing a huge number of services for 2 million IDPs refugees with a battlefield front with ISIS of 1,050 kilometres. The SI expresses its recognition and support to the KRG and its President Massoud Barzani for their efforts against ISIS. We highly support the peaceful solution of the Kurdish cause in the Middle East.
Initiatives are also necessary to protect those who may be vulnerable to the propaganda of by Daesh and seek to travel to join the terror group. It is in the interests of both the countries of origin and destination that these overseas fighters are prevented from joining Daesh. This must be part of a wider effort to understand and address the causes of terrorism to prevent its further spread. Though terrorism must always be condemned, without examining and counteracting the grievances that cause disaffected people to turn to this extremist path, the problem will never be resolved.
The Council regrets the inability of the recent peace talks in Geneva to bring a ceasefire in Yemen, where violence and terror have become widespread. The Socialist International, which has been active and engaged with its Yemeni partners throughout the upheaval of recent years, recognises that the fate of the Yemeni people is at stake, as they seek to build an inclusive society with a working democracy. The
Council reiterates the importance of the role that Yemen's international partners will play, and calls for the resumption of peace negotiations coordinated by the United Nations. Without a political solution and the restoration of the legitimate government of Yemen, the already grave humanitarian situation will continue to worsen and an immediate ceasefire is needed in order to restore supplies of food, fuel and medicine.
We will equally continue to stand on the side of democracy and security in Tunisia, where two recent terrorist attacks have threatened the advances made since the Jasmine Revolution in 2010-‐11. The Council reiterates its solidarity with the SI member party in Tunisia, Ettakatol, and the ordinary citizens of Tunisia whose future livelihoods are threatened by insecurity and instability. Now more than ever, Tunisia needs support in order to remain a counter-‐example to the world-‐view of extremists and fundamentalists. It is also vital to guard against a return to the past and the use of the pretence of security as an excuse to restrict democracy and rights.
The Council of the Socialist International expresses its grave concern at the situation which prevails in Libya and threatens the stability of the region. The Council supports the efforts of the United Nations and of the representative of the secretary general for a political solution based on dialogue between the different components of the Libyan society.
Unresolved conflicts are also a matter of concern in the CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea, in particular the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which is having a destabilising effect on security in the whole region. The lack of progress in securing a ceasefire is deeply troubling and the Council reiterates the call of the SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea for parties to the conflict to uphold international law and implement the ceasefire as outlined in the Minsk II agreement, along with all the other provisions therein.
The Council expresses its solidarity with the SI member party in Nigeria, as it continues its struggle against armed terrorism. We reiterate our support for regional efforts to combat the threat posed by Boko Haram, which was once again tragically underlined by a wave of attacks that killed more than 150 people in Borno state last week. This cooperation is vital if the six-‐year terrorist campaign is to be brought to an end.
The Council reiterates the calls made by the SI Africa Committee at its recent meeting in Bamako for the elaboration and adoption of a common security strategy through a security convention in Africa. In Africa and elsewhere, security is an integral part of policies of good governance and sustainable development.
The Council welcomes the recent signing of the Algiers Accord by all parties in Mali. This peace agreement is an advance not only for Mali but the whole Sahel region, and we congratulate the government of Mali and President Keita on this achievement in favour of peace, justice and security. The SI will continue its active engagement in Mali through its member parties and looks forward to the full implementation of the peace agreement and the realisation of the process of national reconciliation.
The Council considers that it is essential to continue the peace process that the Colombian government is engaged with the Farc in Havana. It urges the parts to make all efforts to speed up the deliberations to achieve the agreements that will lead to the end of the Farc armed uprising and the integration of its members, with full guarantees of their personal and political safety, into the Colombian democracy. In the next meeting of the SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean that will take place in
Cartagena, the proposal of the Liberal Party of Colombia to form a Commission for the following-‐up by the SI of the peace process in Colombia, will be discussed.
The Socialist International has and will continue to be proactive in the promotion of peace and security around the world, in particular through its ability to bring together parties on different sides of a conflict in a spirit of cooperation founded upon shared ideological values. Terrorism takes many forms but the common factor is an utter disregard for human life and a willingness to inflict indiscriminate suffering on innocents. The menace of terrorism does not respect international boundaries and requires a multilateral response with renewed international cooperation.