Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2002-01-16-Speech-3-073"

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"Mr President-in-Office, congratulations and the best of luck for your term of office. The programme you have presented for your Presidency is extremely dense. I would like, if I may, to put forward a few suggestions which would make it a great, ambitious programme as well. I belong to a political family which, unlike many others, has always believed that the only things of any importance are ideas and a vision for the future. Well then, under your Presidency, an old idea we extremists have had for many years regarding law and international law can come to fruition. During your Presidency, you can complete the establishment, for the sake of humanity, of the permanent international court which will bring to justice those accused of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. It will be an historic moment, a fundamental change, which, together with the Treaties, will introduce an initial element of international jurisdiction. Sixty ratifications are needed and over 50 have been obtained. Many of our friendly neighbours are far advanced in the process. It is possible, if you want it, and we will all help you – Parliament is going to discuss the issue in February – for the Spanish Presidency to obtain the necessary 60 ratifications in the name and on behalf of 200 million European citizens. I hope that you will embrace this as a historic opportunity for change. Think how different it would be, even where the fight against terrorism is concerned if – as in the case with Slobodan Milosevic, who is a mere war criminal awaiting trial – today, we had the chance to send the Osama Bin Ladens or the Mullah Omars of this world for trial before a permanent international court. Then our American friends would not find themselves having to invent military courts and the like. Well then, we and you yourself have the chance to achieve this, and we are certainly determined to do so. Of course, Mr Aznar, we fully support the fight against terrorism, but what concerns me is the political response, for clearly, military and judicial responses are not sufficient. We continue to follow and implement the principle that the enemy of my enemy is automatically my friend. We are in danger of heedlessly accepting the most unlikely regimes as allies because we need them. Some of these regimes, Mr President, are close by; they may even lie on the southern shore of the Mediterranean. There is another point I would like to make. You see, I feel that we are sitting next to a minefield and that a new vision of our relations with the Mediterranean must be the priority for our present and certainly for our immediate future. These are just a few suggestions, Mr President, but they would help us to be forward-looking in a practical way, which is precisely what our citizens want us to be."@en1

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