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Common memorials of humankind

Written declaration No. 465 | Doc. 12500 | 26 January 2011

Mr Lokman AYVA, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Ruhi AÇIKGÖZ, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Walter BARTOŠ, Czech Republic, EDG ; Mr Erol Aslan CEBECİ, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Ms Lena DĄBKOWSKA-CICHOCKA, Poland, EDG ; Ms Doris FIALA, Switzerland, ALDE ; Mr Gvozden Srećko FLEGO, Croatia, SOC ; Ms Cindy FRANSSEN, Belgium, EPP/CD ; Ms Francine JOHN-CALAME, Switzerland, SOC ; Ms Birgen KELEŞ, Turkey, SOC ; Mr Rom KOSTŘICA, Czech Republic, EPP/CD ; Mr Ertuğrul KUMCUOĞLU, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Markku LAUKKANEN, Finland, ALDE ; Mr Lluís Maria de PUIG i OLIVE, Spain, SOC ; Ms Carmen QUINTANILLA, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Maria Pilar RIBA FONT, Andorra, SOC ; Ms Andreja RIHTER, Slovenia, SOC ; Ms Luz Elena SANÍN, Spain, EPP/CD ; Ms Doris STUMP, Switzerland, SOC ; Mr Valeriy SUDARENKOV, Russian Federation, SOC ; Mr Mehmet TEKELİOĞLU, Turkey, EPP/CD ; Mr Tuğrul TÜRKEŞ, Turkey, EDG ; Mr Piotr WACH, Poland, EPP/CD

The history of mankind has been marked with both disasters such as wars and earthquakes, and praiseworthy movements of solidarity.

For some reason, it is mostly wars which are commemorated by communities. This being the case, memories of historic solidarity movements should also be commemorated with a view to fostering a common culture of solidarity on the basis of democratic values and human rights. By keeping such memories alive, we can create a culture of pacific values.

Every language has a vocabulary full of references to war or heroism which inadvertently promote violence. In a culture based on remembrance of solidarity, however, people would not need great wars to become historic figures but they would make every effort to help others in need in a spirit of solidarity.

In today’s world, disasters, particularly natural ones, cannot possibly be avoided, but glorification of solidarity is possible. In this regard, the Council of Europe should encourage the member states:

  • highlight exemplary memories of solidarity in their relations with other states and increase public awareness of such memories,
  • organise activities in relation to such memories,
  • include these memories in textbooks and school curricula,
  • focus the commemoration of past wars on the question of “what we should do to avoid similar experiences in the future”.