SI Committee on the Economy, Social Cohesion and the Environment discusses its future work and agrees a proposal for Johannesburg

15-16 October 2004

Representatives from close to 20 Socialist International member parties and organisations convened in Berlin on 15-16 October 2004 for a meeting of the SI Committee on Economy, Social Cohesion and Environment, hosted by the Social Democratic Party of Germany and chaired by Christoph Zöpel, Chair of the Committee.

In this first meeting of the Committee since the SI Congress in São Paulo, the delegates addressed economic, social and ecological developments since October 2003 and the future work of the Committee on regionalisation of globalisation in Africa, Latin America and countries in transition in Europe and Asia.

In a unanimously agreed draft resolution on the issue of sustainable development and the fulfilling of the commitments of the WSSD held in 2002, to be presented to the forthcoming SI Council in Johannesburg, the delegates reaffirmed the strong commitment of the International to achieving the Agenda 21, the Millennium Development Goals towards ending extreme poverty by 2015 and the Johannesburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation, and underlined ‘the need for a new global partnership encompassing economic development, social advance and environmental protection, as interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainable development’.

In order to give a more regionally focused approach to its work and to include each region’s specific needs in the International’s global agenda, the Committee agreed on a working plan to structure its forthcoming discussions, which will be based on: Identity and specificity of the regions; Regional strategies for development - combining economic, social and environmental dimensions - Strategy and criteria of regional integration; and the Aims of the regions concerning global policies.

Bernard Soulage (Socialist Party, France) and Ouafa Hajji (Socialist Union of Popular Forces, Morocco) were elected as Vice-Chairs of the Committee. Participants also discussed the co-ordination of the Committee’s future work with the SI Working Groups on the Bretton Woods System, on Trade and Social Rights and on the Reform of the United Nations. It was decided to meet next on 14 January in Geneva and in Africa in early March.