19 March 2011
Socialist International Presidium meeting
Athens, Greece, 19 March 2011
The democratic struggles in the Arab World
The Presidium of the Socialist International is today gathered in Athens, in the foothills of the Acropolis, at a crucial moment for democrats and the Arab world, where citizens have been mobilising for democracy, rights and freedoms. From Greece, the cradle of democracy and the land that gave us this term, we stand alongside those who are driving these historic changes across northern Africa and the Middle East.
As a global movement which has democracy at its core, we are greatly encouraged by these developments. At this crucial moment, we have addressed alongside leaders from the region ways to deepen our support for them and the people from all walks of life who are uniting behind this common cause.
We express our unambiguous solidarity to those engaged in the struggle for democracy, not just at this moment in northern Africa and the Middle East, but also to those who defend democracy at every moment, in other parts of the world. Our International has a significant history of contributions to previous democratic struggles; in southern Europe in the 70s, South America and the Caribbean in the 80s, and again in Central and Eastern Europe and Asia in the 90s, social democratic, labour and socialist parties of the Socialist International were actively engaged in the process of democratisation. It is vital that we use these experiences, supporting today’s democrats and recognising this moment which holds a similar significance for the Arab world.
This Arab Spring started with the revolution in Tunisia and gained powerful momentum with the inspiring events that swept Egypt. Citizens of Tunisia and citizens of Egypt made their voice heard and were able to push forward a democratic wave for change. These postmodern revolutions have the common characteristic that they were initiated by young men and women who transcended factional and social divides using the only weapons they had access to, modern technologies and social media. They managed in a very spontaneous way to make their claims known to the world, underlining the despair created by societies paralysed by corruption, nepotism and unjust concentration of wealth.
The success of the transition to democracy in Egypt and Tunisia is vitally important for the entire region and in particular for those who have encountered violence and repression in response to their demands. In Libya we see that the voice of the people was not heard by the regime, and a very dangerous situation is unfolding. We condemn all attacks on innocent civilians and support the implementation of necessary measures that can save human lives and promote a democratic outcome of the crisis. Extremely concerned with the violence against civilians in Yemen we express our full solidarity with the Yemeni Socialist Party. A clear, timely and effective transition to full democracy in Egypt, a key country in the region, would be crucial to the advancement of democracy across the wider region. In Tunisia we are equally committed to accompanying this process, supporting all democratic actors there, among them the FDTL. In Morocco, we welcome positive developments, with an important constitutional reform under way backed by our member party the USFP. In this context we also reiterate our support for the absolute right of the Palestinian people to freedom, democracy and statehood.
The journey towards democracy in these countries is part of the continuation of an ongoing process of world democratisation, which has seen the number of countries under a democratic system rise steadily during the last twenty years. Our organisation is contributing to a democratic future in many countries around the world which have only recently made their own transitions and where the SI has parties in government. The challenge in many places is to develop democracy, to enshrine its principles in the institutions of the state and to ensure that it evolves and matures.
This process of making democratic governance successful has many characteristics, but among the most crucial are the principles of free and fair elections, the recognition of democratic election results, the accountability of those in power, equal opportunity to participate and the enjoyment and recognition of all fundamental freedoms and rights and a free media. But democracy is more than simply the holding of elections, it is the right to exercise a vote free of intimidation or fear, to participate in a transparent electoral process and to campaign and be heard as an opposition candidate. A democracy is defined by strong institutions, which act impartially, independently and to the benefit of all citizens.
The Presidium of the Socialist International, meeting in Athens on 19 March 2011, underlines the importance of the democratic cause to the identity of social democracy, and on this basis, our organisation stands ready to work with all democratic forces emerging today across the Arab world, which equally share our commitment to good governance, social justice, sustainability and peace.
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress
Report to the XXV SI Congress
Member Party Congresses
26 September - 1 October 2017
Liberal Party of Colombia, Colombia
28 - 29 September 2017
22 September 2017
Presidential and parliamentary
19 November 2017
26 November 2017
Report of the Secretary General
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
International Women's Day 2016
Planet 50-50 by 2030:
Step It Up for Gender Equality
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...
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...
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...
15 JULY 2015
The Socialist International vigorously condemns the despicable terrorist attack carried out last night during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice that took the lives of at least 84 men, women and children, and left scores seriously injured. This horrific attack continues the path of successive acts of terrorism against innocent people in France and in other countries across the world, as extremists seek to generate a climate of fear and undermine democracy and the rights and freedoms people everywhere have fought to achieve.....
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…