Sunday, June 08, 2008

AoC - the next phase: focus on national strategies

Spain’s Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Máximo Cajal (left) and former Israeli ambassador in Spain, Samuel Haddas (right), at the opening session of a seminar on security at the Mediterranean in Seville, Spain, on November 8th 2005.
pictures from: and

-UK's AoC national coordinator to work at the Counter-Terror department FCO
-Spains AoC national coordinator Cajal: AoC's "enemies... are willing to... die in the name of transcendent causes"
...this says a new important speech from the AoC-mouth, some snippets here:
08/06/2008The Alliance of Civilizations
By Máximo Cajal, Spanish Prime Minister’s Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations

-Maximo Cajal was chief negotatior during the renegotiation of the Spanish-American treaty about Torrejo-center back in 1988,

-He was Spanish Ambassador to NATO from 1994-1996, at the time Javier Solana was named NATO boss (1995).

"The world is approaching a new phase which demands a new global order. The unipolar world which emerged a quarter of a century ago after the fall of the Soviet Union, leaving the United States as the sole world power, is wearing out. And this is so not only because of the resolute irruption of new actors in the international scenario. There are also other reasons(...)making it necessary to establish, and abide by, a new set of rules able to guarantee an international scenario built hopefully beyond simple coexistence; a universal framework which assures harmony among nations. This new order will rest necessarily upon new tenets, new patterns of conduct. Paramount among them full respect for international legality, for the United Nations system, for democracy and for human rights. "
"(The) neoconservative and, needless to say, imperialistic approach stands in the antipodes of the principles put forward by the Alliance of Civilizations. But this proposal, conceived as a rebuttal of the inevitability of Huntington´s theory of the Clash of Civilizations, was not a sudden impulse of good will nor just the result of an impassive academic analysis; much less a coup de théâtre. To fully comprehend its significance, this highly political initiative has to be placed within specific and very special historic circumstances; within the domestic and foreign context in which it was born. ..."

This particular historical and political background explains why the Alliance of Civilizations has a clear security dimension from its very origin. .. Its is because the security commitment is an essential component of the Alliance of Civilizations´overall approach, that the diagnose by the HLG entails a strong political message for the community of nations pointing directly, among other issues, at the lasting and unresolved state of affairs in the Middle East, the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. ..."

" how a different global and political environment had to be organized, and which rules should be implemented to enforce a new and better order to replace the existing and fleeting one. These are the seeds of what later became the Alliance of Civilizations. The backbone of this ideological continuity comes down to a handful of moral principles:
-full support for international law,
-the need to strengthen the UN system,
-the rejection of unilateralism,
-the resort to preventive diplomacy,
- support to the peaceful resolution of controversies,
-the reinforcement of international peace instruments. "

Not surprisingly, this ethic and moral approach happened to be the same that, only a few months later, underpinned Rodríguez Zapatero´s appeal in New York for a new system of values, of rules of international behaviour certainly at the other end of those prevailing at that time. He said: Security and peace will only prevail with the strength of the United Nations, the strength of international legality, the strength of human rights, the strength of democracy. In his address, the Spanish Primer Minister was advocating for a fair international order, global security and concerted international action in the fight against terrorism,..."

The enemy we have to cope with will not be deterred by whatever form of preventive strike or retaliation, be it pin-pointed or massive, because they are ready and willing to kill and die in the name of transcendent causes. Because of that fact, the Alliance of Civilizations pretends to combat terrorism pointing at the hearts and the minds, by trying to understand the underlying sources of this new form of violence. ...
This whole ideological structure rests upon a self evident consideration: the urgent need to recover the peace.We have to build as quickly as possible a worldwide culture of peace...."

"At the Madrid Forum, the launch of a series of specific and practical measures was formally announced... Other Fora will be convened in the coming years. Turkey will host the next one in April 2009.

Brazil, Qatar, Portugal and Morocco have already expressed their willingness to follow suit in the next future. "

"In 2007 Jorge Sampaio invited those countries forming part of the Group of Friends to present what he called “National Strategies”, covering the four fields of action identified by the High Level Group (education, media, youth and migration). As a result of this demarche, some governments have already elaborated these “National Strategies” in order to advance the Alliance´s targets at a national level. Spain and New Zealand have already released their “National Plans”, as we call them, during the Forum. Albania, Bulgaria, Portugal and Turkey are still working on them. More partners are expected to do likewise. "

Doctor Sampaio also invited the countries part in the Group of Friends to designate “Focal Points” in their capitals with the task of monitoring their national strategies and serve as principal national coordinators for issues related to the Alliance. A network of such “Focal Points” will also be established in order to exchange views and improve the cooperation among them. Within the European Union, already sixteen members have appointed their national coordinators, which does not mean that these countries have as yet approved their national strategies or intend to have one at any time. Each nation has placed his coordinator taking into account its administrative structure but also without loosing sight of how they address the problems that the Alliance of Civilizations intend to meet. In Spain, at least for the time being, we have assigned the coordinator to the Prime Minister´s Office. Here, in the United Kingdom, he presides over the “Prevent Team” in the Counter-Terrorism Department of the FCO.

"... Altogether 57 measures to be reviewed after two years, under the supervision of a coordinator responsible for providing the whole package with a strategic vision. The National Coordinator will also be the focal point regarding the different ministries engaged in the plan. He will also be in close contact with the Autonomous Communities and the Local Governments, and with the civil society at large. What we are aiming at with the National Plan is “to translate, on a national scale, the specific goals of the Alliance, including them both in its foreign and cooperation policy and in the whole of its domestic policies”.

The Spanish National Plan for the Alliance of Civilizations' Website is: "


for homework see also (Javier Solana, Maximo Cajal and Israel):

stay tuned!


björn (farmer) said...

"- 5. The teaching of minority religions in schools will continue, in line with the Cooperation Agreements with the Federation of Evangelical Religious Organizations, the Federation of Jewish Communities and the Islamic Commission, and, if appropriate, with those that may be signed in future with other religious denominations. More intensive teaching, in the sphere of pre-university and university education, of issues concerning religious and cultural plurality; implementation of teacher-training programmes for teachers of religion and for teachers in general, on issues concerning religious and cultural plurality.

- 6. Promoting an academic training plan for the religious staff of minority denominations that have a Cooperation Agreement with the State, as well as a grant programme for such training."
from: 5. list of actions, at:

björn (farmer) said...

Gijs De Vries (the Netherlands), ex-Counter-terrorism Coordinator for the European Union meets AoC when still in his post:

Anonymous said...

"... Altogether 57 measures to be reviewed after two years, under the supervision of a coordinator responsible for providing the whole package with a strategic vision."

As the comment is dated 6/5/08, two years hence would place the review in June of 2010, also the mid-point of the 7-year ENP. Particularly interestinng should more nations "come-on-board" with national plans (in addition to those listed and perhaps also ENP nations) and embrace the same timeline, etc. The AoD (should it occur in June 2010) could have immediate repercussions at every level of government, local, national and international, severity of impact depending upon the degree to which the AoC plan has been embraced and implemented.



Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting article about Nicolas Sarkozy:

It's in today's Jerusalem Post International section. Hopefully it stays there.