In May 2004, two months after the March 11th attack, I had the idea to have a global summit on March 11th, 2005 in Madrid. Little did I know that the summit would actually happen and be a major success. When Kofi Annan chose our conference to announce the United Nations’ strategy against terrorism it became apparent to me that a lot of coordinated work, especially between Europe and the United States, was needed in this matter. Subsequently, quite a bit of it happened at the conference sponsored by Club de Madrid and my foundation, the Safe Democracy Foundation. Now in mid 2005, a few months past the summit, I wonder if we should do a follow up conference next year. I hesitate… and not only because of the logistical nightmare that is involved in organizing summits like this. March 11th 2005 was my first summit and it was not easy for my foundation and Club de Madrid to organize. The main reason for my hesitation is that I wonder if terrorism will continue to be such an important phenomenon for years to come as many people may think. I happen to err on the side of optimism. I do, however, think that the issue of nuclear terrorism and this subject alone, may deserve a conference.
Here’s a picture outside of the Palacio Municipal de Congresos
At the Democracy, Terrorism and the Internet Panel. From Left to Right: Myself, Ethan Zuckerman, and Joichi Ito.
Interview by Tatiana Miralles of Radio Francia Internacional.
While at the Summit, the Internet Group worked for two days producing this document. I was part of the group led by Joichi Ito and Marko Ahtissari. We were around 20 people. Everyone did an amazing job tackling the very difficult issue of what to do or not to do with the internet to reduce the threat of terrorism.
Well, here´s the answer. We lived with it when I was growing up in Argentina. Left and right wing terrorism. My cousin was never found, nor his body. There´s a memorial for him now in Alcobendas: The Polideportivo David Varsavsky
Case 2735 – David Horacio VARSAVSKY
The IACHR received the following denunciation:
David Horacio VARSAVSKY, C.I. 6.879, 027, DNI 12.549.136, Maure 2239 6p. A, Federal Capital, an Argentine citizen, 18 years of age (9.18.58), single, a student with secondary school training as an electronic technician; he was preparing to enroll in the school of engineering. He worked on radio and television repair. At 9 o’clock on 2.17.77, he was to be inducted into military service.
The summit is going great for everyone but the press. The press has been left out! I am very, very concerned about this. How can we claim that the best answer to terrorism is effective democracy and not practice it here?I am sorry, friends of Club de Madrid, we must change this policy. Paradoxically some of the best bloggers of the world are here and are free to blog this event. Why can´t the press tell the story of what´s happening inside here? We have nothing to hide!
On March 11th, 2005 the Varsavsky Foundation will host the Atocha Workshop on global terrorism, an interactive brainstorm and policy forum that takes place at the Atocha train station on the first anniversary of the Atocha massacre. This workshop will include selected participants from the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security, as well as other creative individuals. This is an independent event organized by the Varsavsky Foundation.