ARF Participates in Socialist International Meeting

YEREVAN (ARF Press Office)–More than 350 delegates representing over 130 member parties and organizations from throughout the world participated in the Council of the Socialist International (SI) meeting in Rome on January 20-21. Discussions centered around globalization–in the interest of all–as well as peace and security.

A delegation composed of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) representative to the SI–ARF Bureau member Mario Nalbandian–and Maria Titizian from Armenia–represented the ARF.

The Council meeting was chaired by Antnio Guterres–President of the Socialist International–and the opening was addressed by Walter Veltroni–Mayor of Rome; and the leaders of the two host SI member parties in Italy–Piero Fassino–National Secretary of the Democrats of the Left of Italy; and Enrico Boselli–Chair of the Italian Democratic Socialists.

The first theme: For a More Equal Global Society: Governance–Sustainability–Social Justice–included presentations by Christoph Zpel–Chair–SI Committee on the Economy–Social Cohesion and the Environment (SPD–Germany); Massimo D’Alema–President–DS–Italy; Jos Luis Rodriguez Zapatero–Secretary General–PSOE–Spain; Ral Alfonsn–Former President of Argentina–UCR; Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues–General Secretary–PS–Portugal; and Robin Cook–President of the Party of European Socialists.

Taking place in advance of both–the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre and the World Economic Forum in Davos–the Council–issued a message to these Forums following panel discussions led by Trevor Manuel–Finance Minister of South Africa–the African National Committee; Elio di Rupo–Leader–PS–Belgium; Jos Eduardo Cardozo–Member of Parliament–PT–Brazil; Enrique Barn–Chair–Parliamentary Group of the PES; and Rolando Araya–PLN–Costa Rica.

Other declarations were adopted on the world economy–global policy in 2003–and a statement on the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

The Second theme: For a World More Peaceful and Secure: Iraq–Middle East–South Eastern Europe–Africa–included key-note speakers Thorbjrn Jagland–Chair of the SI Middle East Committee (DNA–Norway); Shimon Peres of the Israel Labor Party; Yossi Beilin of Meretz–Israel; Felipe Gonzlez; and Hani Al-Hassan–Minister of the Interior–Palestinian Authority.

The Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Iraq–stating "The world is living under the threat of war that creates fear around the world. We the Socialist International stress that war is not inevitable. We should do everything possible in order to avoid war: we must give peace a chance".

There were also discussion on issues of peace and security after presentations titled–Africa on ‘Peace in Angola’ by Joo Loureno–Secretary General of the MPLA and ‘Re-establishing peace in Cte d’Ivoire’ by Bailly Sery–Minister of Communication of Cte d’Ivoire–FPI. The Council adopted a resolution on the Cte d’Ivoire crisis as well.

A second panel discussion on peace and stability in the Balkans–moderator–Piero Fassino–Co-Chair of the SI Committee for Central and Eastern Europe–with input from Fatos Nano–Prime Minister of Albania and Chair of the Socialist Party; Tonino Picula–Foreign Minister of Croatia–SDP; Zlatko Lagumdzija–Foreign Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Chair of the SDP-BiH; Georgi Spasov–Secretary General of the SDUM–Macedonia; Ranko Krivokapic–Chair of the SDPM–Montenegro; Slobodan Orlic–Leader of the SDP–Serbia. Adrian Nastase–Prime Minister of Romania and Chair of the PSD also contributed to the debate.

The third theme of the meeting was Our Democratic Commitment: Defending Democracy Around The World–followed by a panel discussion ‘Working for Democracy Where It Is Most at Risk’ with Abderrahman Youssoufi–First Secretary of the USFP–and former Prime Minister of Morocco–as moderator.

The ARF delegation held several meetings with other delegations.

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