Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of November, 2002. International
meeting Against the War
Salón de Actos de UGT
(Avenida de América 25)
Stop the next War against
Iraq before it starts
Assembled in Madrid the 16th and
17th of November, 2002, we the participants in the International
Meeting Against the War and in Solidarity with the Iraqi People,
organised by the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on
Iraq (CELSI), wish to express the following:
1. Our solidarity with the Iraqi people,
the victims of a premeditated policy of genocide and presently
faced with the threat a new military intervention which will
this time include the military occupation of their country by
the United States. Since August 1990, when the United Nations
(UN) Security Council (SC) imposed economic sanctions on Iraq,
the Iraqi people have been suffering a grave humanitarian crisis
which has caused the deaths of more than a million and half people,
800,000 of these under 5 years of age. The effects of the embargo
have been deepened by the premeditated destruction wrought by
a multinational coalition during 42 days of bombings in the war
of January-February 1991, estimated by the UN at 22 billion dollars,
and by the repeated attacks which have been carried out since
then. All of the options now being considered by the Bush Administration
include renewed, intense bombing which will destroy the Iraqi
people's already precarious means of subsistence.
On the other hand, the palliative measures initiated by the
SC specifically the "Oil-For-Food" program, resolution
986 , although they have hardly managed to check Iraq's
humanitarian catastrophe, have perversely permitted public opinion
to be distracted from the Iraqi drama, and have guaranteed neo-colonial
control over the country's resources and finances by channelling
billions of dollars toward the payment of war compensations.
Meanwhile, thousands of Iraqis continue to die each month from
preventable illnesses and basic infra-structural deficiencies.
2. Our firmest rejection of the US's
determination to attack, invade and occupy Iraq, a
plan which responds only and exclusively to the defence of US
strategic interests in the Middle East; namely, the control of
energy resources. Under the cover of the so-called "global
war on terrorism", the Bush Administration, after 12 years
of genocidal sanctions, now intends to take definitive control
of Iraq and by this to ensure a complete domination political,
economic and military of the entire region.
In achieving this, the war will bring above all else more
death and suffering for the people of Iraq, and more violence
and instability to the Middle East. The declared objective of
this new war against Iraq is a change of the country's political
regime, an objective which, apart from being illegal, anticipates
a wider geo-political reshaping of the Middle East region, beginning
with a final Israeli offensive in Gaza and Cisjordan aimed at
the definitive destruction of the Palestinian institutions created
by the Oslo Agreements and the massive expulsion of the Palestinian
Beyond the theatre of the Middle East, however, the occupation
of Iraq will impose upon the international community the fait
accompli of a new world order in which the legal norms considered
valid up to now have been nullified by the new US doctrine of
"preventative war". With the fate of Iraq then, the
very concept of International Law hangs also in the balance.
3. Our demand for a just, definitive
and peaceful resolution to the dispute between Iraq and the SC, as well as our recognition
of Iraq's decision to accept unconditionally the return of disarmament
inspectors to the country and the recent resolution 1441. After
having tried unsuccessfully to implicate Iraq in the events of
September 11 as a justification for its final assault, the Bush
Administration has resorted to the accusation of Iraqi rearmament,
without providing any proof of this whatsoever.
Since Iraq agreed to the return of UN disarmament inspectors
this past September 16, the Bush Administration has tried to
sabotage all diplomatic initiatives which might invalidate its
excuses for waging this war. In recent weeks, it has deployed
all of its means of coercion to obtain from the SC a new resolution
which legitimises a unilateral attack on Iraq. In this sense,
the contents of the recently approved resolution 1441, rather
than lessening the threat of war, gives the Bush Administration
the green light for a unilateral attack without the sanction
of the international community.
The Bush Administration wants to impose upon us the logic
that this war is inevitable. In no way, however, can it be justified,
nor legitimised. Faced with the lies and the immorality of those
governments which are promoting and supporting this war, we know
irrefutably that those of us who, all over the world, oppose
an intervention in Iraq are the majority, as witnessed by the
demonstrations held in various cities in recent months or by
that in Florence a week ago. From Madrid we unite our voices
to the general clamour against a war which must be stopped.
The participants in the International Meeting Against the
War and in Solidarity with the Iraqi People, held in Madrid
the 16th and 17th of November, 2002, engage to promote the celebration
of the European Day of Mobilizations Against the War previewed
for next 15th February, 2002, as accorded in the European Social
Forum held in Florence last 9th and 10th November, 2002.
Saturday 16 November, 2002
10:00-10:25 HALL OPENS
Pick-up of simultaneous translation headsets.
AND READING OF MESSAGES
Mohammad Basri (USFP, Morocco), Ahmed Ben Bella (first
President of Algeria), George Galloway (Labour Party MP,
United Kingdom), Ramsey Clark (former Attorney-General
of the United States) [*], John Catalinotto (International
Action Center, USA), Juan Carretero (President of OSPAAAL,
Introduced by: Carlos Varea (Co-ordinator of the Spanish
Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq).
[*] Not confirmed
11:35-12:20 OPENING CONFERENCE
"The Middle East at the beginning
of the 21st century: a return to the Middle East of the late
Pedro Martínez Montávez (Professor of
Arabic and Islamic Studies, Madrid Autonomous University).
Introduced by: Joaquín Córdoba Zoilo (Professor
of History, Madrid Autonomous University).
"A world adrift: the new international
'rules of the game' and the XXI Century wars"
Participants: Ignacio Ramonet (Director of
Le Monde Diplomatique) and Sami Nair (EU MP, Proffesor
of Politics, Paris University, France).
Introduced by: Francisco Fernández Buey (Proffesor
of History of the Ideas, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona).
16:30-18:10 FIRST SESSION
"US policy for the Middle East:
the Palestinian question and the prevision of a war against Iraq;
from 9-11 to President Bush's doctrine of 'Preventive War'"
Participants: Phyllis Bennis (Researcher at
the Institute for Policy Studies, Washington, USA), Naim Abu
Tair (President of the Union of Health Work Committees, Palestine)
and Michel Collon (Writer and reporter for Solidaire,
Introduced by: Fran Sevilla (Journalist, 2002 National
Award of Journalism).
18:30-19:30 FIRST SESSION
"The coming war with Iraq: How
did we get here?"
Participant: Scott Ritter (former Head
of the UN disarmament inspectors team in Iraq UNSCOM, USA).
Introduced by: Basam Kakish (former Minister and former
Ambassador in Iraq 1995-97, Jordan).
20:00 MUSIC RECITAL
Nassir Shamma (oud, Iraq).
With the colaboration of Quintín Cabrera.
Introduced by Gloria Berrocal.
Sunday 17 November, 2002
10:00-10:25 HALL OPENS
Pick-up of simultaneous translation headsets.
10:30-11:45 SECOND SESSION
"International legality, human
rights and interventionism: economic sanctions and the threat
of the use of force against Iraq"
Participants: Elias Khouri (Representative
to the UN of the Arab Lawyers Union, Switzerland) and Hans
Koechler (President of the International Progress Organization
and Professor of the Innsbruck University, Austria).
Introduced by: Fernando Valderrama (Diplomat, former Head
of the Spanish Legation in Iraq).
11:50-12:30 SECOND SESSION
"United Nations and Iraq: In search
of a negotiated solution to 12 years of sanctions"
Participant: Riyad M. al-Qaysi (former Representative
of Iraq upon the UN SC).
Introduced by: Mayed Dibsi (President of the "Jerusalem"
12:45-13:45 ROUND TABLE
"The world after 9-11: resistance
to a global war and the restriction of civil rights"
Participants: Fawaz Zureikat (Popular Committee
for the Defence of Iraq, Jordan), Teresa Gutiérrez
(Representative of the ANSWER Act Now to Stop War and
End Racism coalition, USA), Joaquín Navarro (magistrate,
Spain) Guillerme Vázquez (MP, Bloque Nacionalista
Galego, Spain), Gaspar Llamazares (MP and General Coordinator
of Izquierda Unida, Spain).
Introduced by: Santiago Alba Rico (writer and essayist,
Alianza de Intelectuales Antiimperialistas, Spain).
"A commitment of solidarity with
the Iraqi people"
Participants: Dennis Halliday (Ireland) and
Hans von Sponeck (Germany), former UN Co-ordinators for Iraq.
Introduced by: Javier Sádaba, (Professor of Ethics,
Madrid Autonomous University, Spain)