Socialist International 1st Regional Progressive Governments Forum

25 March 2023

The Socialist International 1st Regional Progressive Governments Forum of the Latin America and Caribbean region, the first regional level meeting of its kind, took place on Saturday 25th March 2023 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The forum was hosted by President of the Government of Spain and President of the Socialist International, Pedro Sánchez, and the Secretary General of the Socialist International, Benedicta Lasi. with the following presidents, heads of government and ministers in attendance: 
•  President of the Dominican Republic, H.E. Luis Abinader, and Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister José Julio Gómez; 
•  President of Chile, H.E. Gabriel Boric, and foreign affairs minister Alberto van Klaveren; 
•  Prime Minister of Portugal, H.E. António Costa, and foreign affairs minister João Gomes; 
•  President of Argentina, H.E. Alberto Fernández, and Foreign Affairs Minister Santiago Cafiero; 
•  President of Colombia, H.E. Gustavo Petro, and Foreign Affairs Minister Álvaro Leyva; 
•  Minister of foreign affairs, Brazil, Mauro Vieira, and Monica Valente, on behala of the President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; 
•  International observer, Conny Reuter, coordinator of the Progressive Alliance.
The President of Socialist International Pedro Sánchez highlighted the importance of cooperation between progressive governments globally and need for creating a platform that fosters discussions on key issues confronting the world today- climate change, cost of living crises and the increasing levels of inequality coupled with the threats to democracy and political stability in the region. 
The various presidents, heads of state and government, and ministers in attendance discussed and exchanged their views, experiences, and proposed approaches on how progressive governments around the world can lead the charge towards sustainable development and implementation of progressive policy options to address the challenges confronted by the region. 
H.E. Gabriel Boric, President of Chile lauded the idea of the Socialist International to create such a platform of progressive governments in the region. He stressed on the fact that politics and political parties must be responsive to the present needs of their people and not overly focused on historical ideological positions which may not be necessarily applicable to the needs of present day political and economic developmental issues. 
Prime Minister of Portugal, H. E. Antonio Costa thanked the new leadership of the Socialist International for the initiative of bring progressive governments together to develop a common voice and response to the global economic and developmental challenges. He shared the experiences of his government over the years and the need for left-leaning governments to continuous reflection on how to better serve their countries and be impactful globally. 
On his part President of Argentina, H.E. Alberto Fernández remarked on the importance and the impact such a forum can have on the region.  He stated that historical happenings and current developments points to the need for creating a progressive response to the development of the region. 
President of Colombia, H. E. Gustavo Petro also stated that given the peculiar history and developmental needs of the Latin American region, it is important that Socialist International created a platform to focus and give special attention to the region. 
President of Dominican Republic H.E. Luis Abinader remarked on the need for governments in the region to work together and exchange ideas to ensure collaboration and collective development of countries in the region. He stated that as host government of first meeting he looks forward to further discussions with the new leadership of the Socialist International and other progressive governments on development common response to the issues affecting the region.
The leaders also recognised the need for the family of progressive parties in the region to work together, and pledged their support and willingness for the creation of a platform to guarantee the implementation of a just, sustainable, and resilient political agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean. 
The Secretary General, Benedicta Lasi stated that the Socialist International recognized the importance of holding regional level deliberations to highlight the peculiar issues confronting specific regions in the world. She also reiterated the need to recognize the changing nature of politics and evolution of political parties in terms of ideology and response to contemporary issues facing the world. 
The Coordinador of Progessive Alliance, Conny Reuter stated the importance of cooperation between our various political groupings and pledged his commitment to work with the new leadership of the Socialist International in their efforts to bring together progressive political parties together to promote our shared vision. 
At the close of the meeting, it was agreed that a follow-up and global level Progressive Governments Forum would take place in September 2023 on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. USA