Print this article   Email this to a friend

About Us

PROGRESSIVE POLITICS for a fairer world

The Socialist International is the worldwide organisation of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. It currently brings together 152 political parties and organisations from all continents. (List of members in full)

A history of growth and accomplishment

The Socialist International, whose origins go back to the early international organisations of the labour movement, has existed in its present form since 1951, when it was re-established at the Frankfurt Congress. Since then it has been increasingly active and grown considerably in membership, more than doubling the number of its members in recent years. Labour, social democratic and socialist parties are now a major political force in democracies around the world, with numerous member parties of the International leading governments or representing the main opposition force. Currently 54 member parties of the International are in government.


The supreme decision-making bodies of the International are the Congress, which meets every four years, and the Council, which includes all member parties and organisations and which meets twice a year.

George A. Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece, is President of the Socialist International, first elected in January 2006, and re-elected at the XXIV Congress. Luis Ayala (Chile) is the Secretary General, re-elected at the last Congress. The Vice-Presidents, who are also elected by the Congress, together with the President and the Secretary General, make up the Presidium of the International, the leadership of the organisation. 

From 1976 to 1992 the late Willy Brandt, former Chancellor of Germany and winner of the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize, was President of the Socialist International. The late Pierre Mauroy, former Prime Minister of France, served as President from 1992 to 1999, and António Guterres, former Prime Minister of Portugal, from 1999 to 2005. Former Presidents and Secretaries General of the organisation

The secretariat of the Socialist International is located in London and coordinates the activities and initiatives of the International, convenes its meetings and conferences, issues statements and press releases and produces its publications.

Global and regional work of the Socialist International

The Socialist International works intensely throughout the year to strengthen and develop social democratic policies in the world, including through the activities of its thematic and regional Committees, Working Groups, and Commissions.

At the Council of Socialist International held in Portugal on 4-5 February 2013, the International established for this inter-Congress period, in addition to the statutory Ethics Committee and Committee for Finance and Administration, the organisation’s thematic and regional Committees, Working Groups and a new Commission on Equality.

Thematic Committees

With the purpose of deepening, broadening and promoting particular areas of global policy, the current thematic Committees of the Socialist International are the Committee on Democracy; the Committee on Local Government; the Committee on Poverty; and the Committee on Migrations. Each Committee sets a specific programme of activities and meets regularly.

Regional Committees

The regional Committees define and inform the work of the Socialist International with regard to their respective regions, and generate input from their national and regional perspectives to the common global policies of the organisation. The regional Committees of the Socialist International are the Africa Committee; the Committee on the Arab World; the Committee for Asia and the Pacific; the Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea; the Committee on the Kurdish People; the Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean; the Mediterranean Committee; the Middle East Committee; and the Committee for South Eastern Europe.

Working Groups

Working Groups of the Socialist International are designed to target specific areas of importance that warrant greater research and scrutiny. The current Working Groups of the Socialist International are the Working Group on Accountability and Transparency; the Working Group on Political Education; the Working Group on Social Media; the Working Group on Individual Membership; and the Working group on Syria.

Previous Commissions

Commission for a Sustainable World Society

The SI Commission for a Sustainable World Society was established by the Socialist International to articulate from the world of progressive politics a way forward to address global environmental concerns, climate change and the issues of governance required to deal with these common challenges. The Commission brought together leading personalities, including serving and former heads of state and government ministers from different continents, to set out recommendations to tackle these fundamental issues, with a particular focus on supporting and contributing to the United Nations Climate Change Conferences and the global effort to reduce global warming.

Commission on Global Financial Issues

The SI Commission on Global Financial Issues was established by the Socialist International to address from a social democratic perspective the ongoing global financial crisis. The Commission brought together political leaders, ministers and noted experts from all continents who worked to formulate a global progressive response to the crisis based on the principles of democratic due process and full transparency and which were consistent with the values of social justice and social solidarity.

Missions and delegations

The Socialist International frequently sends missions and delegations to various countries and regions to help promote peaceful resolutions of conflicts and to support the strengthening of democracy, including through the observation of elections. In recent years such missions and delegations have visited on many occasions the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Consultative status with the United Nations

As a non-governmental organisation, the Socialist International has consultative status (Category I) with the United Nations, and works internationally with a large number of other organisations.

Other activities

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

Socialist International




Meeting of the SI Ethics 
Luanda, Angola
26 November 2015

Meeting of the SI
Committee for Finance
and Administration
Luanda, Angola
26 November 2015

Meeting of the SI
Luanda, Angola
26 November 2015 

Meeting of the SI Council
Luanda, Angola
27 - 28 November 2015



Finances of the InternationAl

Budget and accounts

Member parties in government

List of SI member parties in government

In memoriam



In MEMOriam

Hiroshima - Nagasaki



19 August 2015


World Refugee Day







Presidential, second round
22 November 2015



Member Party Congresses


Report of the Secretary General

Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress


cOmmission on Global Financial Issues

The Way Forward 
on the Global 
Financial Crisis





For peace in Yemen

16 JUNE 2015

The Yemen peace talks underway at the United Nations in Geneva are crucial to establish a framework for a meaningful dialogue between all Yemeni parties and actors in the current crisis. At stake first and foremost is the fate of the Yemeni people, their country and their future, and the possibility to continue advancing in their search for an inclusive society and a working democracy. Despite the many obstacles encountered, Yemen had been until recently one of the countries where people and their movements had managed to produce positive change...


Second anniversary of the Gezi Park protests

30 MAY 2015

As we recognised two years ago, the Gezi Park protests marked a turning point in Turkish politics signalling what people and civil society can achieve to change decisions when they run contrary to the will and aspirations of our citizens. Equally, how the mobilisation of people in one city for a just cause connects with the struggle for more democracy and freedoms in an entire society. On this second anniversary of the Gezi Park demonstrations, we remember all those who became protagonists of a social and political development... 


Appeal to assist with earthquake relief

27 April 2015

Nepal experienced a devastating earthquake on Saturday, 25 April 2015 at 11.56 am. The epicenter of the earthquake (7.6 on the Richter scale) was in Gorkha District – northwest of Kathmandu Valley. This earthquake has had devastating impact on human lives and property in Nepal. The human toll is predicted to be in the thousands, it is yet early days to find out the exact number of lives lost (already the count is more than 2,000 dead) due to inaccessibility of the hilly and mountainous areas where villages after villages have been razed to the ground...
Link to letter of appeal


Socialist International calls for respect for opposition in Gambia

17 APRIL 2015

The Socialist International expresses its deep concern and vigorously protests at the actions taken by the government of Gambia aimed at restricting the public activity and outreach of opposition leader Ousaninu Darboe and members of the United Democratic Party, UDP, the largest opposition party in Gambia. The UDP has embarked on a countrywide tour, from 16 to 26 April. The SI is informed that the security forces in Gambia have not granted the UDP the required permission to use a public address system and instead have put up roadblocks to restrict their freedom of movement and have been cordoning off meeting venues... 


Venezuela: on the brink of a point of no return?

20 february 2015

Venezuela has begun to live in a climate arbitrariness, anguish and repression only comparable to the authoritarian regimes of the past. At moments when the leader of Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo López, completes one year deprived of his freedom as a political prisoner of the government of Nicolás Maduro, and when other citizens and leaders of the opposition remain in jails and in other places of detention due to arbitrary decisions by the Venezuelan government behind a judiciary which is subservient to the Executive, the harassment, persecution and repression of leaders of the different democratic political forces of the opposition continue unabated....
Press coverage


Protecting freedom of expression

02 FEBRUARY 2015

The Socialist International once again expresses it deep concern over actions taken by the Turkish authorities which violate the basic freedoms and rights of its people and have no place in a genuine democracy. The trial and sentencing to six years imprisonment of the President of the Tunceli Bar Association, Ugur Yesiltepe, along with six others, for exercising their democratic rights, among them freedom of expression, is completely unacceptable. This is the first time since the military coup of 1980 that a chair of a Turkish Bar Association is sentenced to prison. Prosecutors alleged that through his work, his writings and his participation in rallies in the province of Tunceli, Yesiltepe was engaged in terrorist acts... 


West and Central Africa

Socialist International supports regional efforts to combat Boko Haram in West and Central Africa

20 JANUARY 2015

As renewed meetings of the Lake Chad Basin Commission member states plus Benin get underway today in Niamey, Niger, the Socialist International expresses its full support for such regional efforts to collectively combat terrorism in West and Central Africa, in particular the expanding threat posed by Boko Haram. The recent fall of Malam Fatori, Damasak and Baga in Nigeria as well as last weekend’s cross-border raids into Cameroon and the seizing of scores more hostages, are further cause for alarm, both on a humanitarian level and in terms of maintaining peace and stability in the region. Since April 2014 when 276 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram...


SI envoys prevented from visiting Leopoldo López in prison in Venezuela

15 NOVEMBER 2014

José Antonio Viera-Gallo, a prominent Chilean lawyer and socialist, with broad experience in public service in his country, where he has served as a parliamentarian, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Senator, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, as well as Minister of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Chile, accompanied by the lawyer, Professor of Law at the University of Chile and collaborator of the Socialist International Secretariat, Claudio Herrera, are in Caracas from 13 to 16 November as representatives of the SI to gain information about the circumstances under which the leader of the Voluntad Popular party, Leopoldo López, continues to be imprisoned along with numerous other political prisoners, and to make representations for their early release...
Press coverage

IRaq and Syria

Latest developments in Iraq and Syria

15 October 2014

The latest developments in Iraq and Syria continue to demonstrate that the terror carried out by ISIS is a major threat to international peace and security, to the people in the region and to the world at large, which must urgently be brought to an end. We reiterate the previous calls of the Socialist International for the international community to unite in response to this terror and to act in defence of the innocent populations of Iraq and Syria, and in support of those from all ethnic and religious groups affected.

Iraq and Syria

Ending terror in Iraq and Syria

25 September 2014

From the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, where the international community has come together to stand against terror, the Socialist International recalled the declaration of the SI Council in Mexico City on 30 June-1 July 2014 on the insurgency in Iraq, which condemned the acts of the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The attacks perpetrated by ISIS have increased in their barbarism and the group now operates with disregard for national borders across areas of northern Iraq and Syria...