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Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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>> Il Quotidiano Radicale


A RADICAL SUMMER

So it's time to raise funds again? Yes, it is. Like last year, we are asking thousands of people to join the party for 1994,. There are so many things we need to do together... So many things to do in 1994, but what have you done this past year? ...Well, I could tell you a whole lot of things, all the initiatives we planned, or the ones we actually carried out...I will do so extensively on this daily newspaper we are sending to all members of 1993 to renew our relation of mutual trust. For the time being I will just give you an account of two weeks' work. Weeks that are not extraordinary, mind you, and are very much like any other week these months. But it's the best answer I can give someone who is asking for an account. Seemingly simple initiatives and choices have required hours and days and months of hard work. But let's go by steps: take any ordinary day, Monday May 17th, for instance. In the morning I had a meeting with Pannella, Stanzani and Vigevano. I was supposed to fly to New York to meet U.N. officials. I had planned to catch a direct flight, but I missed it because of the meeting. I get to Fiumicino at half past one. It's pouring, and the airport is blocked. I hop on a plane to London, from there I plan to continue to New York. The plane leaves two hours late, and the flight from London is four hours late. In London it is pouring too, the computers have broken down, there is an incredible chaos...I arrive in New York at 14:00 local time, i.e. six o' clock Italian time. Immediate meeting at the hotel with the person we had sent the previous day to make the contacts. Everything seems in order. Between Monday and Thursday, at the United Nations, I have between nineteen and twenty meetings with the highest officials. With them I explore a series of subjects, jotted down for the report at the Sofia assembly. More or less the entire program of the transnational party: the reform of the U.N., the question of peacekeeping (and not just for Somalia), how to devise and set up the legal, juridical and institutional means necessary to E.C. policy, the question of human rights, the problems of the environment in the international context. Also on the agenda: the specific themes of the ad hoc tribunal for ex-Yugoslavia, drugs, etc. Lastly, I explore the possibility of asking the U.N. consultive statute for the party and how to start computerized connections between the United Nations and Agorà. On Tuesday I am received at last by the secretary of the Organization, Mr Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Outside the U.N. I attend six (I think) meetings at various foundations, such as the Rockfeller Foundation. At the conclusion of this list I'll tell this one episode: in order to meet a certain person, on Saturday morning I have to drive to a place about 100 Km from New York. All this without counting the dinners, the meetings in the Italian community, etc. Without the support and coordination of the ambassador and of the entire mission I honestly think I wouldn't have made it. On Saturday afternoon I drive back to New York to catch a plane to Italy. Among other things I missed the Alitalia flight and have to fly on another plane, in pitiful conditions. Finally I arrive in Rome on Sunday morning...in the afternoon I have to attend a meeting... I'm awfully tired but I have at least laid the bases for the Sofia report, and the transnational project can continue on a safer, while difficult, track. ...and now three days in South America, in Buenos Aires. Sunday August 1st. We leave at midnight, I arrive in Buenos Aires on Monday at 8 local time. Thirteen hours of flight. The session begins at ten. It's the first meeting of Latin-American parliamentarians on the subject of drug trade and drugs. I have been invited to deliver a report on the subject of "Struggle against the drug trade: repression or legalization?" to inaugurate a debate that will predictably be fiery. I have just arrived, I'm still carrying my suitcase and computer when I realize the Italian postal service has mislaid the package I had sent a week earlier with all the documents and memos to allow me to prepare the report. I'm desperate. To save money I came here alone, so one can help me...Luckily I met a nice person on the plane. I ask him for help, and he offers to assist me: via telephone, fax and computer I ask for the essential documents which he then photocopies...He even offers to let me have headed paper and calling cards, which will be of great use... With the combined use of phone, fax, computer and modem, I manage to follow the debate somehow. Among other things, Argentina is running for leader of the Latin-American prohibitionist world. The president and organizer of the assembly, Varela Cid, a radical member, warns me that I will be the only one to support anti-prohibitionism since the other two delegates have disappeared. I meet a few deputies from Colombia and Argentina. In private they assure me of their antiprohibitionist beliefs, but they confess they have no intention of coming out publicly; they are scared dead, obviously...At about midnight I finally manage to get my hands on the photocopies of the documents received by fax (the correspondent of the Italian postal service, Puerta a Puerta International, has literally disappeared). I have lunch with the ambassador. During the lunch I am told that my speech, that was scheduled for the following day, has been shifted to that afternoon. Panic. I run to the assembly, deliver my report, and a discussion begins: it lasts four hours. Incredibly tiring, and not so much for the opponents' arguments, which are all predictable enough, but because, among others, there is no simultaneous translation. Only the prohibitionists speak out, no one dares support antiprohibitionist arguments. Among my opponents there is the DEA official, obviously. At eight in the evening the matter is concluded. Now suddenly I'm surrounded by antiprohibitionists who hadn't dared speak out during the meeting. They give me their cards, and I give them mine which I photocopied a few hours before. I cannot relax even in the evening, at the official dinner of the delegations. A fiery discussion breaks out which lasts something like three hours, with the delegates sitting opposite me... Wednesday morning we resume business. The president decides to carry out a little opinion poll among the participants. It is phrased more or less as follows: "are you for or against legalization?". Obviously I realize at once that the question is badly phrased, and I do all I can to have it changed. The results are surprising: 30% are in favour of the antiprohibitionist choice. In other words, they support my position. In the meanwhile I had been literally submerged by the press, which had given ample coverage of the Italian situation, but obviously not from our stand-point. The theses exposed by the newspapers reflected instead the position of the representative of the Italian government, Mrs Liliana Ferraro: "The mafia is about to be defeated, and once the mafia is defeated it will be easy to crush the drug traffic". In vain I try to explain that the mafia is far from defeated, that the drug trade is thriving, and that its end is far from imminent. I have to recognize, though, that Mrs Ferraro shows a lot of fair play. "I don't agree with the antiprohibitionist approach - she says - "but it deserves respect and consideration". At one o' clock the assembly is concluded, and at half past three I can board the plane to Rome, where I arrive the following day at two p.m. But I have to rush off to the Chamber, where I deliver a speech at the conclusion of which there is an ovation... Had enough? Eight or nine months have gone by since the 1993 campaign, countless days, all more or less like these, for my comrades and myself... ...so do you think I can honestly ask those 37,000 people who joined last year to renew their membership this year?





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