My foundation Safe Democracy –co-organizer of the International Summit on Terrorism, Democracy and Security in March of 2005 and host of the Atocha Workshop 11-M— will bring together a diverse group of academics and experts specializing in various disciplines from all over the world on Saturday, March 10th, in Madrid. Guests will debate and work in 9 parallel groups towards solutions to the main challenges facing different regions of the world.

The first conference, held in March of 2005 and co-hosted by the foundation along with thde Club of Madrid, was a huge success. World leaders such as the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan and numerous Heads of State came together in Madrid to analyze how Democratic nations should fight against terrorism in an efficient manner, while still upholding the Democratic spirit. The results of the summit are published on the Safe Democracy website under the title Madrid Agenda.

Safe Democracy´s upcoming International Conference will provide the opportunity for further discussion of not only the terrorism phenomenon, but also the various regional inequalities that directly affect democracy and global security. At Safe Democracy we define democracy as more than just the ability to elect politicians and be represented by them, but rather as a much broader idea: a political and social system that promises security to its citizens (physical, as well as economic and social) and that places emphasis on education, healthcare, job opportunities, the freedom of expression, and diversity- openly supporting innovation and respecting the cultures and equal rights of minorities.

Themes to be analyzed span from how to fight terrorism in Spain and Europe three years after March 11th to sustaining development in Asia. We will also discuss the question of immigration and its affect on Europe’s future and deal with governance, poverty and growth in Latin America. We will have two tables of experts dedicated to the question of how to avoid a regional mega-crisis in the Middle East and how to reinitiate the Palestine-Israel peace process. The challenges of poverty and aid to Africa and the resurgence of Russia as an international power will also be analyzed.

As part of Safe Democracy´s many functions geared towards strengthening democracy as a pillar of global development, this is an opportunity to analyze public issues under the dynamic of work groups aimed at exchanging ideas, proposals and reflections between respected experts such as Rafael Calduch Cervera, chair of International Relations at Complutense University in Madrid; Esteban Ibarra, president of the Movement against Intolerance; Pablo Mieres, president of the Independent Party of Uruguay; José Luis Gómez Garavito, expert lawyer in Internacional Law; Mbuji Kabunda, professor and expert in African issues and member of the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg; Mario Sznajder, professor and chair of the Leon Blum Political Science Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and associate investigator at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace; George E. Irani, director of the Africa and Middle East program at the Toledo International Center for Peace in Madrid; Fernando Delage, director of the Asia-Madrid House and Carlos Taibo, professor of political science at the Autónoma University in Madrid and one of the leading experts on Russia and Eastern Europe.

Our objective is to reinforce our independent yet multi-faceted community of experts on international issues, promoting pragmatic solutions, and allowing for the public to express their opinions via the Internet.

I would like to invite all of my blog readers in Madrid to participate in the Plenary Session, open to the public at 15:30 on Saturday, March 10th at Madrid’s Teatro Lara: 15 Corredera Baja de San Pablo, where a representative-rapporteur from each of the 9 work groups will present the conclusions reached throughout the summit. This year we have decided to run the event in Spanish, focusing on our community of academics and experts living in Latin America, where 400 million speak Spanish.

Those outside of Madrid will be able to comment on the topics of each table that we will publish in the next few days. The results of the conference will also be posted and open to commentary.

Please confirm attendance to the Plenary Session by sending an e-mail to Joaquin Mirkin . Space is limited.

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Antoin O Lachtnain on March 4, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

I was wondering if you will consider the effect of post-9/11 and 3-11 legislation on democracy in Europe and elsewhere? I think it is reducing individuals’ rights, without increasing their security very much.

In particular, our group Digital Rights Ireland is concerned about data retention laws. These laws require telcos and ISPs to collect information about all customers. The information will be collected and stored on everyone, regardless of whether you are even suspected of anything.

You can read more about our challenge at . We have a challenge to these laws coming up before European and Irish courts.

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