George A. Papandreou (born June 16, 1952) is Former Prime Minister of Greece, current President of Socialist International, a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and former President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Greece from October 6, 2009 - November 11, 2011, after PASOK’s victory in the October 2009 national elections.

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Speech at the meeting of the newly elected Bureau of S.I.

Excerpts of the President of the Socialist International, George A. Papandreou, which opened the work session of the newly elected Bureau of the Organization, held every year at the UN Headquarters on the occasion of the General Assembly.

The main issues discussed at the meeting of the Bureau are:

– The social impact of the global economic crisis

– The need to improve coordination of international organizations to address the economic crisis

– Developments in Syria

Also, will discuss the crisis in Mali, which is the main theme of his initiative Francois Hollande in the General Assembly of the United Nations to intervene African forces to liberate the country from the forces of Al Qaeda. As the reactions in the Arab world for the video satirizing Mohammed.

George A. Papandreou: I wish to welcome you all in New York, and in particular the newly elected members of our Presidium. A number of you, who have been re-elected, have attended several times this special working meeting that we hold every September in the framework of the UN General Assembly, since 2008.

And I am very happy that we managed once again to continue this tradition. This year, our gathering comes after the 24th Congress of the Socialist International.

A Congress that should make us all very proud, because it showed that our International is an example of transparency and democratic procedures.

And at this point I would like again to thank President Zuma for his engagement and his hospitality.

It is crucial today to have an exchange of views, as reflected by our agenda, on the latest developments that will help us define our political priorities for the months ahead. We need to continue monitoring the financial crisis, as it creates in many countries an explosive social landscape.

International organizations and transnational institutions are expected to be more creative in their response to the crisis. But what should be our specific message on the role of global actors? Your contribution is very valuable in trying to elaborate a number of specific proposals.

At the Eurozone level, the progress is very slow, maintaining a climate of uncertainty about the future. There is a big gap between the perceptions of some progressive governments that try to take into account the social dimension of the crisis and the conservative majority that continues to follow the priorities of those who are responsible for the actual mess.

These progressive governments need more than ever our solidarity in the effort to survive in a very difficult environment. In an environment where financial and media networks are extremely aggressive.

And we need also to produce new ideas, new policies in a situation where the banking sector is unable to support development, where youth unemployment has become a factor of political instability and large segments of the economy need to be restructured, in a situation also where we see the financial hurdles exacerbating racism and extreme right populist movements.

A few months ago even the G20 recognized during the Los Cabos Summit – what we have been saying from the beginning of this crisis – that a global growth plan is necessary in order to promote sustainable development and job creation.

It is a very positive sign, but still wishful thinking. For this reason, we progressives must be united and seek ways to coordinate our efforts and push harder for a progressive agenda at regional and international level, an agenda of financial inclusion, development and employment.

These are some first thoughts in order to start our discussion and I am looking forward to your contributions and your perspectives on the issues of our agenda.

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