The Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. It currently brings together 145 political parties and organisations from all continents. (List of members in full)
A history of growth and accomplishment
The Socialist International, whose origins go back to the early international organisations of the labour movement, has existed in its present form since 1951, when it was re-established at the Frankfurt Congress. Since then it has been increasingly active and grown considerably in membership, more than doubling the number of its members in recent years. Labour, social democratic and socialist parties are now a major political force in democracies around the world, with numerous member parties of the International leading governments or representing the main opposition force. Currently 36 member parties of the International are in government.
The supreme decision-making bodies of the International are the Congress, which meets every four years, and the Council, which includes all member parties and organisations and which meets twice a year.
George A. Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, is President of the Socialist International, first elected in January 2006, and re-elected at the XXV Congress. Luis Ayala (Chile) is the Secretary General, re-elected at the last Congress. The Vice-Presidents, who are also elected by the Congress, together with the President and the Secretary General, make up the Presidium of the International, the leadership of the organisation.
From 1976 to 1992 the late Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of Germany and winner of the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize, was President of the Socialist International. The late Pierre Mauroy, former Prime Minister of France, served as President from 1992 to 1999, and António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, from 1999 to 2005. Former Presidents and Secretaries General of the organisation
The secretariat of the Socialist International is located in London and coordinates the activities and initiatives of the International, convenes its meetings and conferences, issues statements and press releases and produces its publications.
Global and regional work of the Socialist International
The Socialist International works intensely throughout the year to strengthen and develop social democratic policies in the world, including through the activities of its thematic and regional Committees, Working Groups, and Commissions.
At the Council of Socialist International held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on 11-12 July 2017, the International established for this inter-Congress period, in addition to the statutory Ethics Committee and Committee for Finance and Administration, the organisation’s thematic and regional Committees, Working Groups and a new Commission on Equality.
With the purpose of deepening, broadening and promoting particular areas of global policy, the current thematic Committees of the Socialist International are the Committee on Democracy; the Committee on Local Government; the Committee on Poverty; and the Committee on Migrations. Each Committee sets a specific programme of activities and meets regularly.
The regional Committees define and inform the work of the Socialist International with regard to their respective regions, and generate input from their national and regional perspectives to the common global policies of the organisation. The regional Committees of the Socialist International are the Africa Committee; the Committee on the Arab World; the Committee for Asia and the Pacific; the Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea; the Committee on the Kurdish People; the Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean; the Mediterranean Committee; the Middle East Committee; and the Committee for South Eastern Europe.
Working Groups of the Socialist International are designed to target specific areas of importance that warrant greater research and scrutiny. The current Working Groups of the Socialist International are the Working Group on Accountability and Transparency; the Working Group on Political Education; the Working Group on Social Media; the Working Group on Individual Membership; and the Working group on Syria.
Commission for a Sustainable World Society
The SI Commission for a Sustainable World Society was established by the Socialist International to articulate from the world of progressive politics a way forward to address global environmental concerns, climate change and the issues of governance required to deal with these common challenges. The Commission brought together leading personalities, including serving and former heads of state and government ministers from different continents, to set out recommendations to tackle these fundamental issues, with a particular focus on supporting and contributing to the United Nations Climate Change Conferences and the global effort to reduce global warming.
Commission on Global Financial Issues
The SI Commission on Global Financial Issues was established by the Socialist International to address from a social democratic perspective the ongoing global financial crisis. The Commission brought together political leaders, ministers and noted experts from all continents who worked to formulate a global progressive response to the crisis based on the principles of democratic due process and full transparency and which were consistent with the values of social justice and social solidarity.
Missions and delegations
The Socialist International frequently sends missions and delegations to various countries and regions to help promote peaceful resolutions of conflicts and to support the strengthening of democracy, including through the observation of elections. In recent years such missions and delegations have visited on many occasions the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Consultative status with the United Nations
As a non-governmental organisation, the Socialist International has consultative status (Category I) with the United Nations, and works internationally with a large number of other organisations.
Member Party Congresses
29-31 March 2019
12-14 April 2019
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress
Report to the XXV SI Congress
16 March 2019
31 March 2019
Andorran General Council
7 April 2019
9 April 2019
14 April 2019
28 April 2019
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
Report of the Secretary General
02 JANUARY 2017
The release from prison of Manuel Rosales, leader of Un Nuevo Tiempo, UNT, of Venezuela, an SI member party, has been warmly welcomed by the Socialist International. He was unjustly imprisoned following his arrest in October 2015, returning to the country after six years in exile. While celebrating his release, we vigorously protest against the conditions imposed on his freedom, including the need for him to regularly report to authorities, and forbidding him from leaving the country. The International salutes his courage and strength, and expresses its support and solidarity to his family, friends, and comrades...
SI condemns terrorist attack against member party KDP-Iran
21 DECEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly condemns the terrorist attack against the party headquarters in Arbil of the SI member Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP-Iran, which took place on 20 December. The attack was carried out as party members were leaving a memorial ceremony honouring former party leader Abdulrahman Ghassemlou, who was assassinated in Vienna in 1989.
Four party members, a member of the youth organisation and a security guard died in the attack and several others were seriously injured.
Our International extends its deepest condolences to the families and comrades of those killed. The SI reiterates its strong solidarity with all members of the KDP-Iran at this difficult time.
02 DECEMBER 2016
4 NOVEMBER 2016
The Socialist International firmly deplores the arrest this morning of Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ, Co-Chairs of the People’s Democratic Party (Halkların Demokratik Partisi), HDP, an SI member party, and the detention of 11 other HDP parliamentarians, in a further blow to Turkish democracy following earlier crackdowns and restrictions on the freedoms and rights of the citizens of that country. The HDP is the third largest political party in Turkey and won seats in parliament in June 2015 despite the existing 10% threshold, and again in the elections re-called in November 2015. In May this year, the immunity that MPs usually hold from prosecution was removed from HDP members. Party members have subsequently protested against repeated raids of their homes and offices...
21 OCTOBER 2016
The Socialist International deplores the decision adopted yesterday, Thursday 20 October, by the Electoral National Council (CNE) of Venezuela to postpone until a new judicial order the process of collection of 20% of signatures required to activate a recall referendum on the government of Nicolás Maduro scheduled for 26, 27 and 28 of this month. In its public declaration, the CNE bases its decision on compliance with the Constitution and observance of precautionary measures adopted by the criminal courts of Valencia, San Fernando Apure, Aragua and Bolivar, after accepting complaints for alleged electoral crimes against the political forces which are members of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), an alliance which includes member parties of the SI, in the process to activate the recall referendum...
14 OCTOBER 2016
As the world continues to witness the tragedy taking place in Syria, the Socialist International calls for renewed concerted efforts by the international community to stop the carnage and human suffering which has intensified following the breakdown last month of the brief ceasefire that lasted less than a week. The Syrian people are hostages to a conflict that transcends their country and whose solution today lies primarily outside their borders. According to United Nations figures, some 13.5 million Syrians are today requiring humanitarian assistance…
Standing with Colombia for peace
26 SEPTEMBER 2016
The Socialist International greets the historic signing today in Cartagena of the Peace Accord between the government of Colombia and the FARC, successfully concluding a process which began more than four years ago in Havana. Our International is among those accompanying this significant event, maintaining its commitment and support for peace in Colombia today and for the post-conflict period of disarmament and reconciliation.
13 SEPTEMBER 2016
Despite the election of opposition parliamentarians for the first time in twenty years, legislative elections in Belarus have not delivered true democracy to the people of that country. The Socialist International reiterates its firm support and solidarity to all those in Belarus engaged in the fundamental struggle for democracy and human rights. On 11 September 2016, Belarusian citizens went to the polls for parliamentary elections, the results of which are now known. The new parliament contains two opposition MPs, the first elected since 1996, but remains overwhelmingly dominated by those who support President Alexander Lukashenko....
22 JULY 2016
The Socialist International firmly denounces and condemns the sentencing of Ousainou Darboe, leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) of Gambia, an SI member party, along with 18 other party members and sympathisers, to 3 years imprisonment, having been arbitrarily detained since 16 April 2016 following a peaceful demonstration. The SI utterly deplores this travesty of justice and calls for their immediate release. We equally call on the international community to join forces in denouncing the conduct of the dictatorial regime of Yahya Jammeh and calling for an end to the continuing violation of human rights in that country...
- ♦ 23 August 2016
- With great sorrow the SI has learned of the death while in jail of Ebrima Solo Kurumah, UDP party member, the second such case in five months. The SI calls for an urgent full investigation into the circumstances of this tragic death. The Socialist International remains extremely concerned about the lives of all those protestors incarcerated as we have now seen two political prisoners of this group who have lost their lives in the last few months.
16 JULY 2016
The Socialist International condemns the attempt by military forces in Turkey last night and in the early hours of this morning, to bring down the legitimately elected government of the country. Our organisation wholeheartedly shares and fully supports the clear and unequivocal statements made by the leaders of the CHP and the HDP, members of our global political family, as the coup attempt unfolds. Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, leader of the CHP, said that the country had suffered previous coups and these developments should never be repeated in Turkey, adding that his party fully depends on the free will of the people, indispensable to Turkey’s parliamentary democracy…
12 April 2016
The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...
CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea
04 APRIL 2016
The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...
28 March 2016
The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result...
22 FEBRUARY 2016
In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...