A new paradigm for the fight against terror
'One of the most surprising political developments since the attacks of Sept.
11. 2001 has been the extent to which the fight against terrorism has divided
the democratic world' writes Fernando Cardoso
former president of
But Cardoso has faith. The 'seemingly unbridgeable gulf' between those who wanted to counter terrorism through 'taking the battle to the enemy' and those who 'tended to minimise the threat' is not so unbridgeable after all. It is the Madrid Agenda, Cardoso believes, that may prove to be our golden gate.
Almost a month has passed since the International Summit on Democracy and Terrorism which took place in Madrid March 8-11.
So what did it achieve? Certainly we must look at the Summit as more than an event, more than a three-day whirl of activists, academics and politicians. For three months before the Summit, activists spent many long hours researching the various causes of terrorism, how to confront it, and longer term democratic responses, as did a lively public in our online debates. And so the Madrid Agenda emerged.
For Cardoso the Madrid Agenda represents an emerging global consensus on the issue of terrorism whose central elements are:
- to condemn terrorism unequivocally
- to fight it through the rule of law
- to promote international cooperation
- to spread and deepen democracy
Of all of these he points to democracy as key, democracy
based on more than just elections but 'a vibrant civil society and full
respect for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.'
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