III Socialist International World Conference of Mayors

7-9 December 2001

The III Socialist International World Conference of Mayors took place in Athens, Greece, from 7 to 9 December, hosted by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, PASOK, gathering mayors and local authority representatives from social democratic, socialist and labour parties around the world, under the main theme "A Charter for cities governed by socialists".

The Conference, which was chaired by Hermes Binner, Chair of the SI Committee on Local Authorities and Mayor of Rosario (PSP, Argentina), included addresses at its opening by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Leader of PASOK and a Vice-President of the International; Luis Ayala, Secretary General of the Socialist International; Pierre Mauroy, President of the Communauté urbaine of Lille and an SI Honorary President; and Paraskevas Avgerinos, International Secretary of PASOK.

On the first day in the plenary session delegates taking the floor included, among others, Miyegombo Enkhbold, Mayor of the City of Ulanbaatar (MPRP, Mongolia), Muhidin Hamamdzic, Mayor of the City of Sarajevo (SDP, Bosnia & Herzegovina), and Hafid Boutaleb-Joutei, Mayor of Rabat from the USFP, Morocco, the hosts of the previous Conference of Mayors in 1998.

Working groups were formed on the second day to consider three sub themes: 'The City as a leading actor and decision-making centre in the 21st century' which was chaired by George Giannopoulos, Mayor of Rhodes (PASOK, Greece), with José Guadalupe Rodríguez, Mayor of Tula, Hidalgo (PRI, Mexico) as its rapporteur; 'The City as a promoter of solidarity, inclusion and integration' chaired by the Mayor of the City of Sarajevo, with rapporteur Salomão Xirimbimbi, Governor of Namibe Province (MPLA, Angola); and a group focusing on 'The City as a force for sustainable development and a manager of resources', with the Mayor of Rabat as chair and Paz Fernández Felgueroso, Mayor of Gijón (PSOE, Spain) as rapporteur.

On the third and final day of the Conference, reports were given on the working groups and the delegates were addressed by the Mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos. The President of the Municipal Council of Quelimane, Pio Augusto Matos (Frelimo, Mozambique); the Mayor of Mégrine, Néziha Mezhou, (RCD, Tunisia); and, the Mayor of Bunepa, Surendra Bahadur Bade Shrestha (NCP, Nepal) conveyed special messages in this session. At its closure, the Charter for cities governed by socialists was unanimously adopted by the Conference, forming a major document to provide a blueprint for action for mayors and local governments. With regard to latest developments in Cyprus, the Conference issued a declaration. Addressing the participants at the Conference's closing were Lambros Papadimas, Vice Minister of the Interior, Nikos Salagiannis, Secretary of Local Authorities Department of PASOK; and, the SI Secretary General.