The Terrorist Attacks of 11th September and their Aftermath

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 23-24 November 2001


Socialist International Women reaffirms its unequivocal condemnation of the terrorist attacks committed against the North American people on 11th September 2001. Such acts constitute a threat to international peace and security and are a clear violation of basic human rights including the most fundamental of all, the right to life.

Socialist International Women clearly affirms that war constitutes the failure of politics and demands more, and more effective political action and, in particular, political action to prevent the militarisation of public life and the thoughts, attitudes and responses which can condemn us to the polarising game of good against evil – a spiral which can only increase human grief and make the will to destruction more poweful.

We socialist women have always rejected fundamentalism and extremism – whose first victims always and everywhere are women and children – and have promoted within our organisation a culture of peace, cooperation, mutual respect and non-violence, as shown in our resolutions. The present situation shows only too clearly the urgent need to redouble our efforts.

Emergency humanitarian aid for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries is an absolute priority in order to address the immediate needs of the Afghan population and Afghan refugees. Meanwhile we express our concern at the difficulties of access to and of transportation of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and we appeal to the countries in the region to facilitate by all possible means the humanitarian operation.

Strong international cooperation is needed to bring to justice the perpetrators of these crimes. In order for this to happen all legitimate means at the disposal of states and international organisations, based on the principles of democracy and the rule of law, must be used.

We recognise the need for states to take additional measures to prevent terrorist attacks on their territories, but note with great concern that this may lead to the erosion of civil liberties. The militarisation of society must be avoided at all costs. We demand responses founded in moderation and reason which do not lead to an unleashing of vengeance.

To tackle the underlying roots of conflicts we need to reduce poverty and injustice and to combat social, economic and cultural exclusionand promote development, democracy and human rights. There can be no global stability without global social justice.

Therefore Socialist International Women calls on governments to:

  • work closely together and implementthe relevant international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism and Security Council resolutions of the UN;
  • reaffirmthe need to implement fully international human rights law that protects the rights of women and children especially during and after conflicts;
  • address the underlying roots of fundamentalism and extremism in order to ensure they find no fertile ground in which to grow;
  • reaffirm the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts and ensure increased representation of women at all decision-making levels in national, regional and international institutions and bodies overseeing the resolution of conflicts;
  • appeal to the UN to draw up a plan for peace and democracy for Afganistán which guarantees the full participation of women in the whole process;

Socialist International Women calls on Socialist International member parties to comply with SI resolutions on peace, on the culture of peace and on globalisation and its consequences.



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By Irmtraut Karlsson

This book tells the history of the first one hundred years of the Socialist International Women