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Basque Leader in Westminister (OTEGI IN LONDON)

Karlos Xardel | 21.04.2016 01:16 | Repression | Social Struggles | Terror War | London | World

Challenges and Lessons from the unconventional peace process in the Basque Country
25 April 2016
Committee Room 10

The unconventional peace process in
the Basque Country

25 April 2016
Committee Room 10

In 2009 a new opportunity for peace developed in the Basque Country and in 2011 ETA declared the 'definitive cessation of its armed activity' after the Aiete International Conference. Great progress has been made and the situation on the ground has completely changed - despite the absence of a conventional peace process.

To overcome this challenge, members of Basque civil society and the international community have worked successfully on a number of creative solutions and mechanisms to promote the resolution of the conflict. But there are still several areas that need to be addressed, including prisoner and legacy issues and ETA's disarmament process.

Basque leader Arnaldo Otegi will speak about the current situation between the Basque Country and the Spanish government, and offer his perspective on the future of the Country in the new era. Andy Carl, till recently the Executive Director of peacebuilding NGO Conciliation Resources, will reflect on what lessons can be learned from the Basque Country and the challenges of building a just peace without a formal peace process.

Chair: Hywel Williams MP


Allow 30 minutes to clear security and access the committee room


Described by the New York Times recently as 'a terrorist to some, an independence leader to others', Arnaldo Otegi has been in and out of Spanish courts and prisons for three decades for his links to ETA. His last conviction, for trying to rebuild an outlawed party that was ETA’s political arm, 'made him something of a cause célèbre', said the NYT.

Desmond Tutu has called Otegi 'the leader of the peace process' for his role in the debate that led to ETA's renunciation of violence and its new commitment to ending the long conflict through dialogue. He has spent the last six-and-a-half years in prison, prompting the international 'Free Otegi, Free Them All' campaign.

Andy Carl has long worked in the developing field of peacebuilding. Now working as an independent consultant, advisor and facilitator, he was until recently the Executive Director of a leading international NGO in the sector, Conciliation Resources, which he co-founded. He also helped to establish International Alert, another prominent peacebuilding NGO. During his time as Executive Director, Conciliation Resources became involved in supporting peace efforts in the Basque Country, both in the Aiete Conference and the Social Forum.

Karlos Xardel
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