18 October 2011
A feeling of unrest is sweeping the world. In recent days and weeks we have seen thousands of citizens from all walks of life gather in cities around the world to peacefully express their demands for fundamental change. This growing movement by indignados, outraged citizens protesting, has been characterised by the diversity of those taking to the streets to march, protest and occupy. The demonstrations have spread to the major financial centres, from the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York to protests in the City of London and at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. Thousands have marched in the streets of Santiago, Tokyo and Cairo. These people, behind different causes and demands, are united not by political ideology or allegiance, but have come together to express their anger and frustration at existing economic and political realities which have failed them and their fellow citizens.
Of all the causes advocated by this movement, the one which has most resonated has been the rejection of the current speculatory nature of global financial capitalism, responsible for creating the bubble which burst in 2008, leaving the global economy in chaos and taxpayers to bear the cost. It is unacceptable that those banks which made huge profits from the indebtedness of states and individuals were then able to socialise their losses as we saw in the huge bail-outs of 2008-9, without severe constraints and regulation in the aftermath. To see a return to risk-taking, speculation and profiteering within such a short space of time is an affront to those suffering the policies of austerity felt in the real economy, who are rightly directing their anger at those who became extremely wealthy promoting complex financial schemes. Whilst delivering no tangible benefit to anyone outside of the economic bubble, this behaviour directly precipitated the global financial crisis and its destructive impact on the lives of hundreds of millions around the world, resulting in an ever growing disparity in income and wealth in those economies.
As bankers continue to benefit from state funds and tax loopholes, the effects of cuts are felt, with rises in unemployment, declining salaries and worsening of working conditions. The values and principles of the global social-democratic movement are aligned with those myriad individuals uniting to decry this injustice, and the Socialist International stands today on the side of those who through these demonstrations seek a fair financial system, and will ensure that their demands are heard. It is equally crucial not to allow conservatives and those with an interest in maintaining the status quo to misrepresent their initiatives by spreading fear of anarchy and chaos, but to recognise the common goals with those protesting for which the progressive movement has always stood: more and better jobs, the respect of people before capital, free healthcare and education.
It is now three years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, during which time the Socialist International has placed much-needed change in world finances at the heart of its agenda. The work of different bodies of our International on these matters in the intervening period has addressed the imbalances and injustices that exist in the current system, and proposed credible, authoritative and realisable responses that address today’s economic order in a socially responsible manner. In line with these long-held positions, the International stands today in solidarity with those participating in a movement inspired by an honest desire to make a difference. After years during which the supposed virtues of an individualist society have been trumpeted by many, it is refreshing to witness on a daily basis the rebirth of the selfless ideals of cooperation and common humanity shown by these activists.
The Socialist International reiterates its call for world leaders to show due consideration for the interests of the majority in taking unified action to counter what is more than ever a global crisis, something that has been lacking to date following the disappointing outcomes of successive G20 summits. A coordinated show of multilateralism by governments to recognise that a more just and prosperous future lies in tackling the short-termism of those driven by personal interest and profit to move to a more durable vision of a global economy which rewards responsibility and not risk would be a step in the right direction. In order to do this, action is needed to implement initiatives such as the global tax on financial transactions for which the SI has been calling for a number of years and which would raise revenue whilst reducing the profitability of the most risky, socially useless transactions.
Further damaging is the powerful role now played by ratings agencies, at a moment when many governments are struggling with the consequences of crippling sovereign debt. For elected administrations to be destabilised by unaccountable bodies is a threat to the very principles of democracy, and the influence of these agencies must diminish.
Our global movement has consistently prioritised a recovery based on sustainable growth in the real economy, and not another speculative bubble liable to burst at any moment. With more and better global governance, reform of markets and institutions and fairer distribution of resources, we can redesign a financial system aligned to the benefit of the many rather than the few, providing greater security, stability and social justice. The challenge is to transform the urgency, determination and resolve of the street into concrete political action. To fulfil this challenge must be the task of our International today.
The Socialist International congratulates Pedro Sánchez, leader of the SI member party in Spain, PSOE, and a Vice-President of the SI, on becoming President of the Spanish government, taking office on Saturday 2 June, 2018. The world social democratic movement celebrates this news and wishes him and our Spanish comrades every success in these new times for Spain and its people.
Abdul Razzaq Mirza
1945 - 2018
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13 SEPTEMBER 2016
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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...
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...
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.
02 DECEMBER 2016
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.
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…