10-11 April 2015
The Africa Committee of the Socialist International met in Bamako, Mali, on 10-11 April, hosted by the two SI member parties in that country, the Assembly for Mali, RPM, and the Alliance for Democracy in Mali - African Party for Solidarity and Justice, ADEMA-PASJ, centering its discussions on the key issues of Security, Democracy and Development for the peoples of Africa.
At the opening ceremony, which was attended by members of the government and leaders of the two Malian SI member parties, the gathering heard words of welcome from Dr Boulkassou Haidara, Vice-President of the RPM, and from Prof. Tiémoko Sangaré, President of ADEMA, followed by speeches by Emmanuel Golou, Chair of the Committee, and Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International.
In the working sessions which followed, the Committee members discussed an agenda which included two main themes: “Our commitment to putting an end to terrorism in the Sahel and beyond” and “Securing freedoms, rights and development through democracy”.
In regard to the first main theme, Hamadoun Konaté, Malian Minister for Solidarity, Humanitarian Affairs and Reconstruction in the North, made a detailed presentation on the Algiers Accord of 1 March 2015 resulting from extensive negotiations between the government of Mali and the northern armed groups. During the committee’s discussions, an analysis was made of the process underway in the country for national reconciliation and peace. An appeal was made for continued international support in order to move forward swiftly with the signing and implementation of this peace agreement in accordance with the commitments made by the parties involved.
Also under this theme, government minister Zeiny Moulaye gave an exposé on the security situation in the Sahel. The problems of transnational crime and the lack of democratic control of the security sector in the region were discussed, as were a series of vulnerabilities and structural deficits, and the fragility of the State and of the ecology. Included among the threats to peace and security in the continent, participants highlighted the significance of extreme poverty, the phenomenon of religious extremism, migration, drug trafficking, the proliferation of light weapons, terrorism, insurgencies, foreign exploits of the region’s natural resources and the effects of climate change on the agricultural sector. These factors had dramatic consequences on all aspects of political, economic, social and cultural life, and on governance itself in the countries of the Sahel region.
Participants highlighted the need to integrate the question of security in policies for democratic governance, to increase regional cooperation leading to a shared, collective strategy including the development of adequate information networks, programmes of crime prevention based on cooperation between the different security services and a reform of the justice sector to better protect citizens and to ensure the integrity of those responsible for administering justice. The important role of women in the prevention and the resolution of conflicts as well as in the consolidation of peace and reconciliation was equally recognised and which needed to be encouraged.
on the peace process and national reconciliation in Mali was agreed, outlining the main issues involved and the views of Committee members.
The second main theme had two introductory speakers: Nancouma Keita from the RPM and Makan Moussa Sissoko from the ADEMA-PASJ. During the discussions, the fragility of democracy in many countries was highlighted and despite the significant advances made, as for example in the case of Mali, there remained many pressing tasks, amongst them the need to reinforce the State and the security forces, to strengthen the role of political parties and civil society, to empower women, men and the youth, to eliminate marginalisation and increase participation, to provide education for all, including women and girls, to ensure adequate training for a professional press, to effectively address the problem of poverty and its consequences, and to enhance regional cooperation. The need for states to fulfil their obligations as regards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and gender equality was also emphasised.
As part of its agenda, the Committee held a discussion on ways to enhance the work of the Africa Committee and to promote democratic socialism in Africa. The Committee recommended the creation of a summer university for the education of political actors and to instil the core values of the Socialist International, particularly at this time of increasing radicalisation and religious extremism. As a way to influence decision-making at regional level, the Committee was also in favour of the SI seeking a status within regional bodies such as the African Union, and to aim to form a socialist group within the African Union’s legislative body, the Pan-African Parliament. The Committee was firm in its resolve to deepen cooperation between its members and to strengthen solidarity and the shared goals of our International, opposing attempts to undermine it through alternative alliances which turn their back on the internal democracy and inclusiveness of our movement. The need for parties to fulfil their financial obligations was underlined as an imperative, as the organisation depended upon it. The SI Secretary General was recognised for his efforts towards the good functioning of the International and its Africa Committee. In relation to the next meeting of the Committee, to take place later this year, participants agreed on Mozambique as the venue.
During the third session, participants at the meeting shared information on the national situation in their respective countries. Positive developments were noted in Niger and Senegal, although it was acknowledged that democracy was an evolving process and international vigilance, support and solidarity was important for further progress to be made. The deficit of democracy and lack of respect for basic rights and freedoms in a number of countries was a cause of continued concern and the Committee reiterated its solidarity with the SI member parties in Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania and Swaziland. Calls were made for a peaceful end to the transition in Central African Republic, for successful democratic alternance in Benin, for encouragement to the progressive forces in Burkina Faso, and for further dialogue leading to a political, mutually agreed solution to the situation in Western Sahara. Recognition was extended to H.E. President Mahamadou Issoufou for the important advances made in Niger under his leadership and warm congratulations were expressed to the APC of Nigeria and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on their recent electoral success, reiterating at the same time full support for all efforts in that country to consolidate democracy, to defeat and eliminate terror, and to bring progress, peace and stability. A Resolution
on the key questions discussed by the Committee was subsequently issued.
Participants expressed their gratitude for the warm, fraternal hospitality extended to them by the two host parties, the RPM and ADEMA-PASJ, as well as by the President of the Republic of Mali, H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, whose unwavering commitment to the Socialist International and to its values and principles was highlighted.
Declaration of the Socialist International Africa Committee on the peace process and national reconciliation in Mali
The Socialist International Africa Committee, meeting in Bamako, Mali, on 10 and 11 April 2015
- Given the depth of the political and security crisis and its multidimensional manifestations in Mali;
- Considering the general context of crises in the African region in general and in the Sahel in particular;
- Analysing the different threats to peace and security in the continent, including the phenomenon of religious extremism, migration, trafficking of all kinds, terrorism, rebellion, foreign exploits of the continent’s natural resources, but also and especially the effects of climate change on our core farming and agricultural economy;
- Considering the major challenges for global peace and security which are the Alpha and Omega of all activities of the SI, namely in the areas of:
• Personal security and social peace
• Strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights
• Political stability
• Sustainable development and the management of natural resources
• The sovereignty of states
• Their territorial integrity
• Peace and international security
- Recognising the important role played in the SI by Mali and it’s president His Excellency Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, in favour of rights, freedoms and solidarity in Africa and the world;
- Recalling the wisdom and political courage with which the Algiers negotiation process between the government of Mali and northern armed movements was conducted and completed;
- Welcoming inclusive nature of the Algiers talks and the initialling of the draft agreement by the parties involved;
- Welcoming and thanking the international community for its exceptional mobilisation alongside Mali to help end the crisis;
- Stressing the need and urgency for the various stakeholders to move towards the early signing of the peace agreement and its implementation in strict compliance with the commitments made by the parties;
The Socialist International Africa Committee
• Congratulates and thanks H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali, for the constant and active role he has always played and continues to play on behalf of Mali within the SI, for the achievement of the ideals of peace, justice, freedom and solidarity;
• Thanks the people and government of Mali for the warm African welcome and hospitality shown to the various delegations of the SI;
• Calls on the Coordination of the Armed Movements to join the project of the Algiers Peace Accords of 1 March 2015;
• Welcomes the good progress of the negotiations process and calls on the government and the armed groups to move toward the early signing of the peace agreement and national reconciliation and its implementation in accordance with the commitments made by the parties involved;
• Reaffirms its commitment, support and solidarity to Mali for a quick and definitive end to the crisis;
• Warmly welcomes the mediation and the whole of the international community for their invaluable contribution to the resolution of the crisis in northern Mali and call on them to persist for an effective implementation of the peace agreement.
• Calls on the international community to take appropriate sanctions against any party that opposes the signing and the implementation of the Algiers Accord of 1 March 2015.
Meeting of the SI Africa Committee
Bamako, Mali, 10-11 April 2015
The Africa Committee of the Socialist International, hosted by its two member parties in Mali, the Assembly for Mali, RPM, and the Alliance for Democracy, ADEMA-PASJ, met in Bamako on 10-11 April 2015, to discuss core issues of our International which are crucial today for the countries of the region, those of Security, Democracy and Development for the peoples of Africa.
With regard to Security on the continent, the Committee agreed to adopt a special declaration on the process for peace and national reconciliation in Mali, outlining the main issues involved and the views of the members of the Committee.
Considering that the region is currently facing a significant challenge and threats to peace and stability originating from among others, trafficking of arms and drugs, religious radicalism, insurgencies and terrorist activity, the Committee welcomes the Algiers Accord relating to Mali and encourages all the parties involved to move forward with its conclusion so as to effectively advance the efforts for peace and security throughout the whole Sahel region.
In particular, the Committee calls on all countries in the region to incorporate the objective of security as an integral part of the policies for good governance and for sustainable development. Equally, it calls for the setting in motion of programmes for transnational crime prevention based on extensive collaboration between the different actors in the security sector; the development of an information network to counteract the different types of threats; and a reform of the justice sector to better protect the citizens, to fight against impunity and to guarantee the integrity of all those responsible for discharging justice.
At regional level, the Committee calls for the elaboration and adoption of a common security strategy through a security convention in Africa; the strengthening of capacity building for the defence and security forces; and the creation of an African Fund for Security.
The Committee reaffirms the important role of women in the prevention and the resolution of conflicts as well as in the consolidation of peace and reconciliation as defined in the UN Security Council resolution 1325 of 31 October 2000. It also calls on the SI member parties in Africa to advance with the elaboration and implementation of the National Action Plan contained in the Resolution 1325.
Regarding Democracy, effective guarantees for the rights and freedoms of all citizens can only be achieved through regular, free and fair elections by secret vote, as stated in Article 21(3) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this sense, the Committee calls for the strengthening of democracy through transparency in the management of public affairs, respect for the principle of the separation of powers of the state – the executive, legislative and judiciary; ensuring freedom of the press; and broadening decentralisation through regionalisation to achieve a balanced development.
The efforts to empower people through democracy, to defeat terror and resolve conflicts, will permit us to direct our energy and effort towards advancing our struggle against poverty. Education for all, including women and girls, is important for a stable democracy as well as to overcome the scourge of hunger and want. Good governance in Africa means economic growth and jobs to defeat poverty and unemployment. Removing fear and barriers to inclusion in African societies will empower men and women and the youth to gain a better living, open new opportunities, strengthen health systems, education, social protection, and build a society with more solidarity.
Considering the existing deficit of democracy in a number of countries of the region, the Committee underlines the pressing need to ensure free, transparent and fair elections along with total respect for rights and freedoms and expresses its full solidarity with and support for the SI member parties in Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Mauritania and Swaziland.
Regarding the Central African Republic, the Committee calls for a peaceful end to the transition and expresses its solidarity with the people of that nation, who since 2012 face a chaotic and uncertain situation which threatens to further destabilise the country. The Committee affirms its full support for our comrade Martin Ziguélé in his bid for the presidency.
The Committee supports and encourages the people of Burkina Faso and its transition government, and calls on the international community to closely follow the process and to lend all the support necessary. We extend our encouragement to the progressive forces in that country, including the MPP, taking part in the presidential elections of October 2015.
In Benin we look forward to an alternance of power resulting from free and fair democratic elections and the Committee expresses its best wishes of success to our comrade Emmanuel Golou, in the presidential elections next year.
The SI Africa Committee lends its recognition to H.E. President Mahamadou Issoufou for the advances made in Niger during his first mandate as head of state and expresses its full support and solidarity with him and the PNDS.
The Committee warmly congratulates the APC of Nigeria and President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on their electoral success and expresses its satisfaction at the exemplary opportunity provided for a peaceful transition of power between civilians. We stand ready to support all efforts in Nigeria to consolidate democracy, achieve good and effective governance and to defeat and eliminate terror.
In regard to Western Sahara, the Committee calls for further dialogue leading to the success of a political, peaceful, mutually shared solution by all parties involved, in line with the process underway under the auspices of the United Nations.
With a view to invigorating democratic socialism in Africa, the Committee recommends the creation of a summer university for the education of political actors and to instil the core values of the SI at a time when radicalism, including religious extremism, is on the increase. The Committee agrees to request that the Socialist International seek a status within regional bodies in Africa, such as the African Union, to deepen cooperation which should also be extended to the parliamentary level, aiming to form a socialist group at the Pan African Parliament.
The Committee calls on all its members to adhere to the Socialist International rules and statutes, notably in regard to the payment of their membership fees, which are indispensable for the functioning of the organisation. The Committee expresses its recognition to the SI Secretary General for his efforts towards the good functioning of the Socialist International and its Africa Committee.
The Committee members reaffirm their resolve to deepen their cooperation and to strengthen the shared goals of our International, opposing any attempt to undermine it by alternative alliances which turn their back on the internal democracy and inclusiveness of our movement.
The Africa Committee extends its warm thanks to the RPM and ADEMA-PASJ for their fraternal hospitality in hosting this meeting and its sincere recognition of H.E. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for his work to implement in Mali the principles and values we share and for his untiring commitment to our International.
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If you are looking for an earlier meeting, please consult the LIBRARY section.