Global peace and stability and climate change were at the centre of discussions of the Council of the Socialist International at its meeting in Geneva on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 June.
With the participation of close to 400 delegates from over 120 political parties and organisations from all regions of the world, counting with a number of heads of state and government, party leaders and other prominent guests as keynote speakers (List of participants), under the central theme "Working for global peace and stability in a world of conflicts without borders", the Council addressed the role of the worldwide social democratic movement in contributing to the resolution of conflicts and greater global stability and adopted a number of decisions in that regard. The meeting began with a vote of solidarity with SI President George Papandreou, in his absence, and the Greek people as they were facing the grave consequences of the heatwave affecting the country.
The Council meeting opened with addresses by the Secretary General of the Socialist International, Luis Ayala; the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation, Juan Somavía and Minister Moritz Leuenberger, Member of the Swiss Federal Council.
The President of the Palestinian National Authority, H.E. Mahmoud Abbas, gave a keynote address on prospects for peace in the Middle East and on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation, and the President of the Republic of Iraq, H.E. Jalal Talabani, was the keynote speaker on the way forward for his country.
Leaders and key political actors from different regions introduced the other issues under the central theme, including the future for Lebanon; efforts to ensure stability in the Western Balkans; the opportunity to make peace work in Côte d'Ivoire; the search for solutions to conflicts in the Caucasus; efforts to end violence in Colombia; and the process to consolidate peace and democracy in Nepal. (Introductory speakers and contributors)
The Council launched a Commission for a Sustainable World Society to develop a common approach and proposals by the social democratic movement to face the pressing issues of climate change, energy and governance. Keynote speakers on this theme included Ricardo Lagos, former President of Chile and a Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General on Climate Change and Goran Persson, former Prime Minister of Sweden. The United Nations Development Programme Administrator, Kemal Dervis, also contributed as a guest speaker to this debate. (Introductory speakers and contributors)
The Council meeting adopted a Declaration of Geneva on the central theme and a Statement on the Commission for a Sustainable World Society. Other decisions of the Council related to matters of membership included the adoption of recommendations made by the Ethics Committee. The Council also received a report by the Chair of the Finance and Administration Committee and adopted the Accounts for the year 2006. It also agreed that the XXIII Congress will be held in the first half of 2008.