Madrid Declaration

MADRID COUNCIL - How do we build upon the social democratic vision for a more secure world? 7-8 February 2004

The Socialist International, made up of over 160 parties from all continents, meeting in Madrid at the invitation of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), reaffirms its active commitment to peace, democracy, human rights and social equality.

For many years, the ideas of the Socialist International have been able to overcome language barriers, barriers of different cultures, of different religions, of geography and of continents. Democratic socialism has been able to unite, long before the Internet globalised the world. Long before that, socialism had globalised aspirations for a fair humanity.

At this historical moment, with so many uncertainties, the responsibility of the SI and of its member parties becomes extremely important. This is a moment loaded with uncertainties and concerns in the search for a road that may lead us to an international order with greater security, peace, dialogue and greater equilibrium between poor and rich countries.

We are facing fundamental challenges which require global responses and which the international community has not yet found appropriate answers for, or it is divided with regard to the strategies to be used in order to combat, reduce or control these new risks and threats.

The globalisation of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and organised crime are, no doubt, risks and threats which concern all citizens and which, from our positions of public responsibility, we must try to find answers for. They must be dealt with in the appropriate international bodies, such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Chemical Weapons Convention.

However, it is also our duty to remember that our security is linked and coexists with growing inequalities between rich and poor countries; with dramatic migratory tensions; with an increasingly threatened environment; with hunger and pandemics which always strike the weakest; with poverty and the marginalisation of millions of people; with the labour and sexual exploitation of many children and women.

Our security is related to and coexists with the prevalence of poverty and the frequent violation of human rights, because the violation of human rights is one of the main causes of global insecurity.

We all accept that there are new risks and threats; but there is something which, as social democrats, we cannot accept: the simplification of reducing the problems of the world to the explosive combination of global terrorist organisations and the use of weapons of mass destruction.

The simplification and reduction of the problems in the world to these two extreme manifestations of the threat is the ideological basis of so-called pre-emptive war. This concept of pre-emptive war is being used to justify all kinds of unilateral solutions, including attack to change regimes, the control of countries through military occupation and resorting to this pretext in the fight against tyrannies.

We are in favour of building a more secure and democratic world. However, for this, we need, contrary to neoconservative theories, to work on another concept of international collective security: a concept of global democratic security that takes into account the challenges and risks of global threats but which can, at the same time, get to the root of the problems in the world and give answers to the most severe threats, especially poverty. Other related threats are marginalisation, migratory tensions, environmental degradation, exploitation of children and women; hunger and pandemics and the violation of human rights.

This new global democratic security must be sustained by a fundamental commitment: the respect for international law. This new global democratic security must share one same vision of the world: the use of force must always be subject to law.

It is essential to reinforce the United Nations and to defend multilateralism. The UN is not irrelevant, as the neoconservatives pretend. And we must support the reforms that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan intends to promote, finding ways of democratising the Security Council, of reforming and making the working methods of the General Assembly more operative. We must reinforce the International Criminal Court, and we cannot abandon the Kyoto Protocol. We should reactivate negotiations on disarmament in Geneva. It is necessary to promote the signing of the Ottawa agreement on antipersonnel mines and reduce the proliferation of small arms. And we must work toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.