This press note announces the presentation of the International Verification Commission for the ceasefire in the Basque Country (IVC).

Important advances towards peace in the Basque Country have been made in the past years. We are today at a new and more hopeful stage. Among the many factors that have contributed to getting to this stage, it is worth highlighting the strong and clear demand that Basque society has made for violence to end definitively.

A credible and irreversible ceasefire is a fundamental step in this process. Because of this, different elements in Basque society have expressed the necessity to create a mechanism that will verify the “permanent, general and verifiable” ceasefire announced by ETA on the 10th of January 2011.

The IVC’s creation responds to the request made by different elements of Basque society to members of the Commission to create a mechanism to verify the ceasefire.

Individuals of significant International experience in peace processes and security issues will form the Commission. The objective of the Commission is to contribute to the verification of ETA’s ceasefire through a serious and rigorous process. The Commission will work closely with all possible elements of Basque society.

Over the past two days, members of the commission have met with representatives of political parties, business associations, trade unions and the Church in the Basque Country to discuss the beginning of the Commission’s work.

The IVC will hold regular meetings with all the possible elements of Basque society to exchange reports, ideas and projects that can help consolidate the credible and irreversible ceasefire that the Basque country demands.

The members of the IVC are:

  • Ronnie Kasrils (South Africa)
  • Ray Kendall (United Kingdom)
  • Chris Maccabe (United Kingdom)
  • Ram Manikkalingam (Sri Lanka)
  • Lieutenant General Satish Nambiar (India)

The Coordinator of the IVC will be Fleur Ravensbergen.