Catalunya works for peace

Albert Caramés's picture
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In 1986, Catalunya was one of the four autonomous communities (with the Canary Islands, Navarra and Euskadi) that voted against the continued membership of Spain in NATO. Since then, the Olympic Games of 1992 and the indisputable tourist attraction offer have put Catalunya on the map. Despite this, one of the things that makes me proud of my nation is the effort made to achieve a pacific environment.

In 2003, the demonstration against the illegal invasion of Iraqi territory was one of the most attended around the globe. It wasn’t an isolated example. The various ETA and al-Qaeda attacks were always answered with massive pacific protests on the streets of Catalunya.

This citizen attitude has been projected onto a diverse range of institutional initiatives, which goals have always been to search, denounce and fight against social inequities and human rights violations around the world. For example, Catalunya, instigated by Vicenç Fisas (Escola de Cultura de Pau: escolapau.uab.cat), was a pioneer in denouncing the Spanish arms trade in sensitive destinations (Israel or Colombia, among others) in the beginning of the 90s. This initiative was accompanied by a global campaign to stress the fact that the global arms trade needs much stricter regulation (www.controlarms.org). On another hand, a more recent example could be found in the recent creation of the International Catalan Institute for Peace (ICIP; www.icip.cat), a civil society initiative that has been sponsored by the Catalan Government since 2007. The Institute aims to research, educate and act for reliable and durable pacific strategies in different areas in the world. One of the first activities outside of our territory was the organisation of a seminar to explore the conditions for sustainable peace in the Ivory Coast (http://www.gencat.cat/icip/pdf/programa_27-29_09_2010.pdf).

For all these reasons, despite the national axe predominantly being on the next Catalan autonomous elections on the 28th of November, any political party who aims to have any representation in our Parliament must not forget our society’s commitment to a more sustainable and pacific way of living: http://www.fundacioperlapau.org/arxiu_documental/documents/propostes_eleccions2010.pdf.

 

Albert Caramés

United Nations consultant and PhD candidate

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