Conclusions reached at the Committee Meeting, Bucaramanga, 30-31 MAY 2011
Meeting of the SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean Bucaramanga, Colombia, 30-31 May 2011
During the deliberations that took place on 30-31 May 2011, which were chaired by the Chair of the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, Martín Torrijos, and coordinated by the SI Secretary General Luis Ayala, it was concluded that:
1. The ideological, philosophical and political identity of the social democratic parties of the Latin American and Caribbean countries was asserted.
2. The social democratic parties of the Latin American and Caribbean countries made the commitment to promote public policies tending towards the following:
a) To develop strategies allowing countries of the region to rely on their own sources of energy, overcoming the different political obstacles that hinder the integration processes between countries and areas where energy resources are available and the countries and areas of energy consumption. This should be combined with preferential use of sources of energy that preserve the environment and help to reduce the cost of production, transmission and consumption of clean and cheaper energy. This will allow us to rationalise the use of fossil fuels, which are less clean and more costly.
b) To promote scientific research, the impetus of new technologies and innovation, the search for increased productivity, generation of employment and the wellbeing of our peoples. In this way, we will be more competitive when faced with the challenges posed by market globalisation.
c) To promote progressive tax reforms to guarantee redistribution of income, and therefore the raising of more resources to channel towards investment in infrastructure, education and health.
d) To guarantee food sustainability and increasing investment in farmlands to develop a level of agricultural production that is sufficient for future generations, thus helping to combat the unfair competition created by countries that invest their capital resources in subsidies to agriculture, removing developing countries and emerging economies from the market.
e) To promote the elimination of policies of providing short-term social benefits for electoral gain by some governments, which can cause great damage to the social development of the people and worsen the quality of life of citizens. Social democratic parties, on the contrary, promote the creation of productive employment and secure jobs, without forgetting transitory rescue policies for the most vulnerable citizens.
f) To adopt as an emblem the defence of the environment for the sustainability of the ecosystem.
3. The social democratic parties must have as an imperative the defence of gender equality to give women more and better opportunities, and especially enhance opportunity for the youth in their search for their first employment.
4. To arrange the holding of a seminar with ECLAC on current perspectives and opportunities in the world economy for the countries of the region and about the themes on the agenda of this meeting.
5. Social democratic parties must make a commitment to confront the financial monopolies that have caused such great damage to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.
6. In order to make all this possible, the think tanks of political parties present in this gathering will together carry out research about the public policies that have been the subject of discussion, in order to advance common positions in these areas. The next meeting will continue to debate these questions, in particular the following:
a) The real scope of social welfare policies, making a special case of those promoted in different countries of Latin America, in order to define their suitability and applicability.
b) A balance of the costs and benefits obtained by countries of the region from mining in relation to environmental problems, in order to define policies which will be recommended to social democratic parties on this controversial subject, on open-pit extraction amongst other issues.