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Local Authorities

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee on Local Authorities, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

02-03 March 1998

Some fifty delegates, including many mayors, gathered in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, for the meeting of the SI Committee on Local Authorities on 2-3 March 1998. The meeting was hosted by the Ivory Coast Popular Front, FPI, and was chaired by Philippe Busquin, SI vice-president and leader of the Belgian Socialist Party, PS, who reiterated how fundamental the concerns of this Committee were to society and democracy. In an increasingly globalised world, he continued, making politics accessible for all was a real issue, and decentralisation and encouraging politics of proximity could lead to more direct contact between governments and citizens. SI Secretary General Luis Ayala emphasised the importance of the Committee's work in the pursuit of solidarity and community by seeking ways to ensure social responsibility at grass-roots level. Delegates were welcomed by Laurent Gbagbo, FPI president, and addressed by Jean-Marie Kobo, a representative of the Ivory Coast Ministry of the Interior, who drew the attention of the Committee to the specific problems facing municipalities in Africa today.

The Committee gathered to prepare for the second Socialist International Conference of Mayors to be held in 1998, following the successful first Conference held in Bologna in 1995. It was agreed that the conference would be held in Morocco, under the title 'The Urban Face of Socialism II' and would bring together socialist mayors from SI parties, guests and experts from different regions and continents. Delegates will divide into groups to focus on four main areas: 'Globalisation and local collectivity: the role of solidarity', 'Society and information: citizens' access', 'The new partnership', 'The future and quality of the city: a socialist response' and a working group will also discuss 'Cities in conflict'.

It was agreed that working papers on the topics would be prepared for distribution prior to the Conference and that there should be increased publicity to encourage mayors from all cities and towns to participate.

The Committee also looked at the question of solidarity between cities. Delegates compared the cases of their national situations and contributed widely on questions of legislation, financing, cooperation, infrastructures and decentralisation. It was agreed that local politics demand practical mechanisms in order to serve communities properly, and, by putting democracy into practice at grass roots, the influence could be far-reaching. The Committee concluded that the dynamics of local politics must work in many directions - between towns and cities, between local government and central government, and between cities in other countries.

Before the closure of the meeting, Pierre Amondji, FPI, Ivory Coast, was elected vice-chair of the Committee.



Chair of the Committee
Philippe Busquin
(Belgium, PS)
(Mayor of Seneffe)

SI Secretary General
Luis Ayala

Popular Socialist Party, PSP
Juan Carlos Zabalza
(International Secretary,
Municipality of Rosario)

Socialist Party, PS
Etienne Godin
(International Secretary of the PS)

Social Democratic Front, SDF
Lionel Njakwa
(Mayor of Douala 1)

African Independence Party of Cape Verde, PAICV
Eugénio Veiga
(Mayor of S. Felipe, Island of Fogo)

Socialist Party, PS
Robert Bernard
(Mayor of Saint Dié, Vosges)

Italian Socialists, SI
Giovanni Crema
(Mayor of Belluno)

Ivory Coast Popular Front, FPI
Laurent Gbagbo
(FPI General Secretary, MP for Ouragahio)

Doudou Emile Boga
(MP for Lakota)

Simone Gbagbo-Ehivet
(MP for Abobo)

Beda Boni
(MP for Affery)

Djédjé Dano
(MP for Gagnoa)

Bouabré Madi
(MP for Saïoua)

Troupah Brissi
(MP for Guibéroua)

Henri Dassé
(MP for Gagnoa S/P)

Mollé Mollé
(MP for Akoupé)

Mamadou Touré
(MP for Gagnoa)

Koutouan Tchimou
(MP for Agboville S/P)

Charles Guipié
(MP for Issia)

Paulin Godé
(MP for Zikisso)

Pierre Amondji
(Mayor of Adjamé)

Pierre Aman Yapo
(Mayor of Yakassé-Attobrou)

Benjamin Atsé Yapo
(Mayor of Akoupé)

Arsène Sibailly
(Mayor of Gagnoa)

Casimir Ouraga
(Mayor of Ouragahio)

Michel Zadi Guédé
(Mayor of Guiberoua)

Charles Blé Blé
(Mayor of Saïoua)

Léon-Emmanuel Monnet
(Mayor of Adzopé)

Ahouchi Yapo
(Mayor of Alépé)

Méhoué Koné
(Mayor of Worofla)

Benoit Yro
(Mayor of Toulepleu)

Denis Diampleon
(Mayor of Danané)

Maurice Kuhon Téhé
(Mayor of Facobly)

Agustin Mambo Assi
(Deputy Mayor of Adzope)

African Party for Solidarity and Justice, ADEMA-PASJ
Ibrahima N'Diaye
Mastan Keita

Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI
Raúl Olmedo Carranza
(Chair of the Municipal Affairs Commission of the PRI)

Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP
Driss Araki
(Member of the bureau of the Urban Commune of Agdal-Ryad-Rabat)

Labour Party, PvdA
Piet Zelissen
(Mayor of Grave)

Socialist Party, PS
José Manuel Conde Rodrigues
(Vice-President of the Committee and Mayor of Cartaxo)

Sami Abu Salim
(Mayor of Der El Balah)
  Ilan Halevi
(Permanent delegate to the SI)

Constitutional Democratic Assembly, RCD
Kamel Kasbi
(Mayor of Bardo)

International Union of Socialist Youth, IUSY
Kesse Blé

Office of SI President
Susana Delbo

SI Secretariat
Gabriela Shepherd


Other activities

If you are looking for an earlier meeting, please consult the LIBRARY section.