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Four-by-Four <p> 4 years of contemplation


4 years of contemplation

Author: Ana Gomes
Published: November/2008
Colection: MAIS ACTUAL
Publisher: RCP Edições

Stock: Available

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 Format: Paper Book
 Pages: 252
 Cover: Capa mole
 Dimention: 15x23 cm
 Price: €6.25 €5

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 Size: 2.600Kb
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Ana Gomes takes up the heading of the opinion column she signed on a fortnightly basis in the magazine “Courrier Internacional” between 2005 and 2007 and which is the source of most of the texts contained in this book. In it she also includes some articles published in the early-morning newspapers “Diário de Notícias” and “Público”, in the weekly newspapers “Expresso” and “Jornal de Leiria”, as well as in the “Acção Socialista”, “Amnistia Internacional” and “Causa Nossa” publications.The book is almost all-inclusive, covering both national and international topics, from July 2004 onwards, date on which Ana Gomes accepted the position of Member of the European Parliament.The field visits, at various latitudes and longitudes, undertaken by her and her direct contact with the key stakeholders of several different conflicts, negotiations and problems throughout the world, provided rich material for the 88 chronicles written by her and compiled into 252 pages, divided into 14 chapters, 13 of which are dedicated to international topics: those with the greatest number of articles concern the ties between Europe and Africa, the transatlantic ties, Iraq, nuclear proliferation, including the challenges posed by Iranian ambitions and international terrorism, Guantánamo and the fight against terrorism, and East Timor.The last chapter of the book examines Portuguese options, focusing on topics related to Foreign Policy and Defence. Not limited to these areas, however, it also includes texts on other subjects that marked the national agenda, such as renewable energy, the referendum on abortion and genetically modified food.


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(...) My first mission as Member of the European Parliament was to the Sudan and Chad in August 2004, as a result of the Darfur tragedy. What I saw, heard and learnt with the suffering of the refugees and displaced persons and with the aid community and political decision-makers involved in that terrible conflict would mark my entire activity in the European Parliament, and not only as a negotiator of all the resolutions approved from that time forth on the subject.

The challenges posed by Africa in relation to human rights and the principles of justice and democratic governance have never ceased to raise questions in my mind and to spur me on to action: the most exciting, albeit also painful, personal experience I ever went through was in Ethiopia in 2005 as head of the “European Union Election Observation Mission. My involvement in election observation missions subsequently led me to the Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor and Angola.

(...) I do not presume to present an academic paper, or to offer a single, complete and coherent point of view for the challenges and options open to Europe or to Portugal.

The connecting thread is, above all, the concern of being able to contribute towards the construction of a fairer and safer world, based on the rule of law at both national and international level, on effective multilateralism and on social progress, where Europe, and Portugal in particular, take on ever more ambitious and decisive roles.

I tried to convey an eclectic approach, integrating several viewpoints of international links, which are often not articulated in the sphere of political decisions or of public opinions, despite the fact that the globalised and interdependent world in which we live demands it. Security and development, gender-related issues and European defence, for example, are topics that are rarely dealt with in the same breath; however they deserve to be looked at together in order to produce more correct, wide-reaching and, above all, more effective policies. Political decision-makers, as well as European citizens, need to understand that global Peace and Security are a result of both the European Union’s capacity to participate in peace-keeping missions and international cooperation and democratic governance policies that help less developed countries to escape from the vicious circle of poverty, conflict and underdevelopment.

 (...) Finally, I tried to demonstrate that only action that is coherent and true to values, with no double standards, in terms of human rights and defence of international law, in both peace and war, will vest Europe and its allies – in particular the United States of America – with moral and political authority to demand that other countries meet their international obligations of respect for these values and principles; only in this way will Europe and the United States be effective in the fight against international terrorism, instead of playing the game of terrorists: this is why I have defended (and will continue to defend) that all the truth, main responsibilities and acquiescence be established on both sides of the Atlantic, in regard to the civilisational regression represented by Guantánamo, the secret prisons and the subcontracting of torture by the Bush Administration.

All of the areas for reflection and intervention in these texts are united by a transversal concern: the defence and promotion of human rights and international law as the cornerstone of any national and European commitment to the construction of international peace and security.




Thanks 7

PREFACE - António Guterres 9  


I – The Construction of Europe 17

II – Europe and Global Security 31

III – Europe and Africa 49

IV – USA: Inevitable Power 79

V – Guantánamo and the Fight against Terrorism 93

VI – Afghanistan: A Generation’s Work 109

VII – Iraq: After the Invasion 125

VIII – The Middle East: Perpetual Deadlock 141

IX – China: The Giant with Feet of Clay 153

X – Threat: Nuclear Proliferation 161

XI – UNO, irrelevant?! 179

XII – East Timor: Crises and Opportunities 189

XIII – Women in Politics and Women’s Politics 207

XIV – Portugal: Foreign Policy and Internal Debates 217



Diplomatic adviser to the Portuguese President (1982-1986); posted to the Permanent Mission to the UN and International Organisations, Geneva (1986-1989) and to the Embassies in Tokyo (1989-1991) and London(1991-1994); member of the Portuguese delegation to the Middle East peace process during Portugal's EU presidency (1992); member of the Special Political Affairs Office (East Timor dossier Timor) of the Foreign Ministry (1994-1995); head of office of the Secretary for European Affairs (1995-1996); member of Portugal's Permanent Mission to the UN in New York - coordination of the Portuguese delegation to the Security Council (1997-1998); head of Section of Interests and, later Ambassador of Portugal to Jakarta (1999-2003).

Member of the National Executive and Political Executive of the PS (Socialist Party) (since 2002); member of the PS National Secretariat and Secretary for International Relations (2003-2004). Member of the Portuguese branch of Amnesty International. Graduate in law (University of Lisbon, 1979); diploma in Community law (INA, 1981); diploma from the 'Institut International des Droits de l'Homme' (Strasbourg, 1989).




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