Following its recent XXII Congress, which took place last October in Sao Paulo, the Socialist International held its first Council meeting of this inter-Congress period in Madrid on 7-8 February 2004, hosted by the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party, PSOE, whose leader José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is a Vice-President of the International.
The Council discussions centred on the main theme of "How do we build upon the Social Democratic vision for a more secure world?", underlining the fundamental commitment of the social democratic movement to lessen conflict and reduce threats to peace in the world today. A Madrid Declaration, based on the ideas put forward by the leader of the host party, Rodriguez Zapatero, was adopted unanimously.
Three specific panels were held under the main theme. The first was on "Prospects for peace in the Middle East", with contributions from leaders and members of the Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian member parties as well as from other parties from that region and beyond; and the second panel "Ensuring a democratic future for Iraq", included the participation of leaders and representatives from Iraqi parties and others. A Resolution on the Middle East and another Resolution on Iraq were adopted by the Council. A third panel discussion focused on "Regional efforts toward greater security and democracy" with contributions by delegates from other regions of the world. Particular attention was given to the leaders of KONAKOM and PANPRA, the SI member parties in Haiti, who addressed the latest serious developments in their country. The Council agreed to send a mission to Haiti to encourage the social democratic forces there, and supported the sending of an SIW mission to Iraq.
The Council established a number of Committees and Working Groups and elected their Chairs. The members of the Finance and Administration Committee and the Ethics Committee were also elected for the current inter-Congress period.
Approximately 400 delegates from close to 120 socialist, social democratic and labour parties from every continent participated in the Council. List of participants