On 29-30 June 2001 the Council of the Socialist International held its first meeting of the year in Lisbon with the participation of more than 400 delegates representing member parties from throughout the world.
The Council discussions opened with the theme "Social Democracy in the World Today", as the International marked the 50th anniversary of its reestablishment in 1951.
The other main themes of the agenda were: the Kyoto Protocol and the urgent task of saving the environment; Initiatives for Peace, focusing on the current situation in the Middle East and conflicts in Africa; and globalisation and the reform of the World Trade Organisation, WTO.
Participants included leading socialists and social democrats, among them a number of presidents and prime ministers, as well as numerous party leaders, ministers and other officials, together with specially invited guests
Among the party leaders participating at the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister António Guterres, President of the Socialist International, were Raúl Alfonsín, former President of Argentina and leader of the Radical Civic Union; Alfred Gusenbauer, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Austria; Elio Di Rupo, leader of the Socialist Party of Belgium; Alexa McDonough, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada; Prime Minister José María Neves, leader of the African Party of Cape Verde's Independence; Rolando Araya, presidential candidate of the National Liberation Party of Costa Rica; Laurent Gbagbo, President of Côte D'Ivoire; Prime Minister Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic; Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark; Hatuey DeCamps, leader of the Dominican Revolutionary Party; Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja of the Social Democratic Party of Finland; François Hollande, First Secretary of the Socialist Party of France; Franz Müntefering, Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party of Germany; leader Lászlo Kovács and former Primer Minister Gyula Horn of the Hungarian Socialist Party; Walter Veltroni, Secretary General of the Democrats of the Left of Italy; Walid Jumblatt, leader of the Progressive Socialist Party of Lebanon; Amalia García, leader of the Party of the Democratic Revolution of Mexico; Joaquim Chissano, President of Mozambique; Foreign Minister Thorbjørn Jagland, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party; Alan García, leader of the Peruvian Aprista Party; Ousmane Tanor Dieng, leader of the Socialist Party of Senegal; José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party; Prime Minister Göran Persson, leader of the Social Democratic Party of Sweden; Manuel Laguarda, leader of the Socialist Party of Uruguay; Rafael Angel Marín, secretary general of Democratic Action of Venezuela; Jaume Bartumeu, First Secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Andorra; Rodolfo Echeverría Ruíz, Secretary General of the Institutional Revolutionary Party of Mexico; Mahamadou Issoufou, leader of the Party for Democracy and Socialism of Niger; Benazir Bhutto, leader of the Pakistan People's Party; Rafael Michelini, leader of the New Space Party of Uruguay; Enrique Barón Crespo, leader of the Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists; Ma Dolors Renau, President of Socialist International Women; Milorad Dodik, leader of the Party of Independent Social Democrats of Bosnia & Herzegovina; Ahmed Ould Daddah, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces of Mauritania.
Former President of the Socialist International Pierre Mauroy, and former President of the Republic of Portugal Mario Soares, both SI Honorary Presidents, also attended.
Leaders of the member parties of the Socialist International in the Middle East, including the President of the Palestinian Authority and President of Fatah Yasser Arafat, Foreign Minister Shimon Peres of the Israel Labour Party, and Yossi Sarid, President of Meretz and leader of the opposition in the Israeli Knesset, participated in the discussions on peace in the region.
Norwegian Minister of the Environment Siri Bjerke, Netherlands Minister of the Environment and Chairman of the United Nations Conference of Parties on Climate Change Jan Pronk, South African Minister of the Environment Mohamed Valli Moosa, and Portuguese Minister of the Environment José Sócrates, took part as well.
The Council also received reports from the Chairs of the SI regional and thematic committees and a report of the SI Secretary General Luis Ayala; and adopted statements and resolutions on: 50 Years of Solidarity; Towards Sustainable Development; Armed Conflicts in Africa – What are the Solutions?; Algeria; Middle East; The WTO Ministerial Conference in Doha; Pakistan; and Rubén Berríos.