This past Saturday, March 1st, the Social Forum for Peace took place in Bayonne, organized by Bake Bidea, Lokarri and the Faculty of Bayonne.

Numerous Basque political, social, and trade union representatives participated in this encounter, especially from the North Basque Country (Ipar Euskal Herria), as well as anonymous citizens who came to the forum with the objective of analysing the recommendations for promoting the peace process that were made public last May and how to advance in their being put into practice.

Along with them, there also took part in the Forum the members of the ICG, headed by the South African lawyer Brian Currin.

Brian Currin inaugurated the Forum with a speech in which he considered the current context to be worrisome, that the Spanish and French states don’t get involved in this process.

The first of the round tables took place after that in which they spoke about the content of the recommendations and the four main points in which they are structured (decommissioning, the reintegration of prisoners and exiles, human rights and memory and reconciliation).

Aaro Suonio, from Finland, was one of those who intervened at this round table. He explained that a process of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) needs a plain based on four points: independence, impartiality, credibility and a legal framework so that it can operate. He remarked on the importance of that the disarmament be “verified”.

On her part, Sylvia Casale centred on the subject of prisoners. She said that taking into account the already existing protocols on this subject, you could already take measures that would make the situation of the prisoners more humane and that would lead the way to the reinsertion of prisoners and exiles.

At the second round table they dealt with the advances that have been validated and the “challenge” of how to make the recommendations a reality, especially in a situation in which the two governments refuse to take part in the process.

In the majority of the interventions, from the speakers at the round tables as well as the representatives and citizens who were present, they pointed out the need for the active participation and commitment of the citizenry. Together with that, they also remarked on the necessity of that the civil society has a real sense of that the resolution of the process is mainly in their hands and that they are the ones who will make the resolution process unstoppable; civil society must be the main guarantee for the process to reach its conclusion.