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Public Statement on the Current Situation in Libya

Public Statement on the Current Situation in Libya

February 25, 2011

Madrid, February 25, 2011 - The Club de Madrid, composed of 79 democratic former Heads of State and Government, has been following with utmost attention and interest the wave of popular movements and demands to greater freedoms and political changes in North Africa and the Middle East. These movements just appeared two months ago in Tunisia and have spread to several other countries in the region, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf. Youth has found and expressed its political voice and has become the driver of change and transition in their countries. The Club de Madrid, which has been active in the region strengthening dialogue and democratic discourse through freedom of association, welcomes the first steps taken in Tunisia and Egypt towards reform that will allow these countries to build and strengthen political models with higher doses of liberty and participation.

The Club de Madrid however, is also following with deep concern developments in Libya. Citizens must always have the right to speak freely and claim their legitimate rights. Nothing justifies the use of violence to silence them. We, therefore, firmly appeal to the Libyan authorities to halt the use of such violence. If it continues, the tools provided by that international law, should be used by the international community with speed and force to curb the abuse of power being exercised by Libyan leaders and to safeguard the legitimate rights of Libyan citizens.

The Club de Madrid is aware that we live in a changing world and leaders are facing new and difficult challenges. Likewise, we know that there is no single model that works for all. None of these difficulties however, justify repression and the use of violence. Under the firm conviction that, within the framework of the rule of law, citizens should be free to exercise their rights in peace and freedom, and in accordance with international standards, we believe there is an urgent need to establish a constructive dialogue between civil society and authorities in Libya. To reach consensus on a framework of coexistence, the Libyan Government needs to respond to the legitimate expectations of citizens expressed through democratic pluralistic and participatory methods.

The Club de Madrid seeks to support the construction of functional and inclusive societies through dialogue, with a view to the prevention and resolution of political conflicts and the strengthening of democratic values and democratic institutions.  In similar situations we have offered our experience and added value to begin peaceful dialogue, mitigate conflict and establish a process of democratic transition.  We will continue to do so.

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About the CLUB DE MADRID:

The Club de Madrid responds to the demand for leader-to-leader support to confront today’s global, regional and national democratic leadership challenges. It is an independent organization dedicated to strengthening democratic values and leadership around the world by drawing on the unique experience and resources of its Members –more than 79 democratic former Heads of State and Government from 55 countries who contribute their time, experience and knowledge to this mission.

From 2007-2009, in response to an expressed need for greater efforts towards and in support of democratic dialogue and freedom of association in the Arab world, the Club de Madrid launched an initiative aimed to strengthen discourse and association in the Middle East and North Africa.  This project, “ Strengthening Dialogue and Democratic Discourse through Freedom of Association in the Mediterranean and the Middle East Region” was implemented in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, and Saudi Arabia. Please, click here for more information on this project.

Media Contact:

Susana Manueco, Communications Officer, smanueco@clubmadrid.org,

Tel. +34 91 154 8236 ~ Cell. +34 616 194 183

 

 

 

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Club de Madrid
Palacio del Marqués de Cañete. Calle Mayor, 69, Planta 1, 28013 Madrid - Spain
Tel +34 911 548 230 Fax +34 911 548 240
E-mail: clubmadrid@clubmadrid.org