Meeting of the SI Africa Committee, Praia, Cape Verde

20-21 October 2006


The Socialist International Africa Committee, hosted by the African Party of Cape Verde's Independence, PAICV, held its second meeting of 2006 in Praia on 20 and 21 October. Three speeches were made during the opening ceremony:

- A welcoming speech by Prime Minister José Maria Neves, President of PAICV.

- A speech by Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International.

- A speech by Ousmane Tanor Dieng, First Secretary of the Socialist Party of Senegal and Chair of the Committee.

Following the opening ceremony, delegates met in plenary session to address the issues on the meeting's agenda.

The themes considered by the delegates:

Thorough and fruitful debates followed an introduction on each of the themes:

- Democratic Governance: constitutional frameworks, electoral processes and political parties;

- Achieving the Millennium Development Goals — an overview from the continent;

- Migration: the human, economic, social and political impact in Africa — a contribution of the Committee to the developing work of the SI on this subject.

The members of the Committee held exchanges on the different realities facing the continent and arrived at the following conclusions:

A - With regard to "Democratic Governance: constitutional frameworks, electoral processes and political parties"

- There exists a deficit with respect to constitutions at a continental level, an inadequate "constitutional culture" and sometimes constitutions that are too ambiguous.

- The fight for effective democratic governance in Africa must be continued, which necessarily means today affirming the democratic rule of law, reaffirming institutions, economic development, citizens' participation and dialogue between political forces and those in civil society.

- Fighting to affirm the independence of judiciary power and the credibility of magistrates, by reinforcing the independent judiciary power of the State.

- Guaranteeing the independence of electoral administration bodies, such as Electoral Commissions and reinforcing international cooperation for these institutions.

- Strengthening the juridical framework and accountability of holders of public office in carrying out their duties, and a greater protection of the democratic rule of law.

B - With regard to "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals - an overview from the continent"

The Millennium Development Goals represent an essential commitment for Africa in its fight against poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women.

An overview from the continent shows that considerable disparities exist among different African countries. Certain nations are in a position to be able to reach some of the goals by 2015. However, the situation is not very encouraging for the majority of countries in the region.

In order to achieve these goals - a fundamental task and commitment of the international community - political parties must also play a crucial role in mobilising awareness, the will and necessary resources to be successful. On one hand, the political forces of developed countries have the task of ensuring that their respective governments fulfil their promises and, on the other hand, the political forces of countries from the South have the responsibility of advancing through good governance to release the potential of African nations and organise available human and economic resources, and to act for the common well-being. Also, the political parties of the North and South must move forward agreement on the reform of international organisations, in a way that ensures opportunities for all in a framework of a new multilateralism and the essential reform of the rules of international commerce with fairer trading in a globalised economy.

C - With regard to - Migration: the human, economic, social and political impact in Africa - a contribution of the Committee to the developing work of the SI on this subject.

The globalisation of the economy and the lack of opportunities for too great a number of people have accelerated migratory flows towards the industrial, economic and financial centres across the world. A process which is usually regulated and ordered must today face, on one side, the growing and very human aspirations for a better life, which drive more and more people to cross borders, and on the other, a new form of victimisation of migrants caused by the unscrupulous actions of those who profit from unregulated immigration.

The members of the Socialist International remain committed to improving the regulations affecting migrants and also to making them more human, whilst ensuring an ordered and regulated flow by policies with responsibility shared between the originating and destination countries. This translates as responsible action in migratory matters in the originating countries, as well as the destination countries putting into practice active policies of integration, such as assistance, and the strengthening of efforts of developing countries to generate jobs and opportunities for their own citizens.

The member parties of the Socialist International in Africa will continue to contribute actively in their own regions and on a global level to the development of a social democratic roadmap with regard to migration, a key issue for society in the 21st century and a fundamental issue to safeguard human, social and political rights of all, including those of migrants. In this context, they welcomed the content of the Declaration of the Euro-African Conference on Migration held in Rabat in September, and, in Cape Verde, renewed their commitment to give a more human face to migration today, an issue which calls into question the very identity of our movement.