Following the XXIV Congress that took place in Cape Town, South Africa last September, the Socialist International is holding the first meeting of its Council, in Cascais, Portugal, on 4-5 February. The event will be hosted by SI member the Portuguese Socialist Party.
Under the main heading “The World Economy: Our Vision for Growth, Jobs and Sustainable Development” the Council will bring together leaders and delegates from SI member parties worldwide, as well as specially invited guests and speakers. Antonio Jose Seguro, the host party’s leader and SI Vice-President, will give a keynote speech at its opening.
Chaired by SI President George Papandreou, the Council will address key themes in panel discussions: “The Eurozone Crisis: From here, which way forward?” and “Emerging and Developing Economies and Multilateral Institutions in an ‘Out of Crisis’ Strategy”.
In light of recent events, two emergency items have been added to the agenda: “Latest developments concerning the efforts of the people in the Arab World to advance the democratic agenda”, on which key actors from political parties and movements active on this issue will make presentations to the Council; and, “Mali: Supporting peace, security and democracy in the Sahel”, on which SI member parties will address current developments in the region, with contributions from the leader of RPM Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was a presidential candidate in the March 2012 elections that were suspended after the coup d’état, as well as other leaders from the region.
The first Council meeting after the Congress establishes the different organs of work of the Socialist International for the new period. These include special SI Commissions to examine and elaborate common policy recommendations and proposals on global issues on the international agenda. After discussions at the last SI Presidium meeting, held at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, in September 2012, a Commission on Equality – a subject at the heart of the movement – will be proposed at the Council.
Further organs – thematic Committees, Campaigns and Working Groups – are formed to provide a focus in highlighting particular areas of global policy that require new approaches and advancement on a common platform. Resolutions and statements on the central issues of discussion are expected to be adopted reflecting the commitment of the organisation and its member parties, which now number 161, in forging solutions to these demanding global issues.