First meeting of the SI in Angola

26-27 July 2002

The Socialist International held a meeting of its Africa Committee in the Angolan capital of Luanda on 26-27 July 2002, hosted by the MPLA.

This first meeting of the International in Angola took place in the climate produced by the newly won peace in the country and became the focus of attention for both Angolan public opinion and African SI members.

The opening of the meeting on Friday 26, which counted on the presence of SI delegates, participants from the MPLA leadership, members of parliament, diplomats and members of the media, was addressed by João M.G. Lourenço, Secretary General of the MPLA, Luis Ayala, SI Secretary General, and Ousmane Tanor Dieng, First Secretary of the Senegalese Socialist Party and Chair of the Committee.

The first theme addressed in the discussions of the Committee, "Moving forward the process for conflict resolution to build a common future of peace for all" was introduced by Mário António Carvalho, Political Secretary of the MPLA.

The subject of "The continuing efforts of the African people to promote and strengthen democratic governance", to which several delegates contributed, was introduced by Bornito de Sousa, leader of the MPLA group in the Angolan Parliament.

The third theme of the Committee's agenda, "Fulfilling global commitments and meeting targets for reducing poverty and advancing sustainable development in Africa", was presented by Ana Dias Lourenço, Minister for Planning of the Angolan government.

The Luanda Declaration, reflecting the debates and contributions of the members of the Committee on the issues discussed was unanimously approved.

On the afternoon of 26 July, the President of the Republic of Angola and President of the MPLA, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, received the heads of delegations at the Presidential Palace.

The Angolan post office, marking the occasion of this first meeting in the country, issued a special series of stamps depicting the images of the Socialist International campaigns on fighting poverty in Africa, abolishing the death penalty, cancelling the debt of the poorest countries, and stopping violence against women. These were launched at a special ceremony in the presence of all the SI delegates.

At the meeting's closure on 27 July, different initiatives on issues of concern to the Committee for the coming months were agreed. The next SI Africa Committee will be held in the second part of this year in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, hosted by the SI member Ivoirian Popular Front, FPI.

Special series of stamps