The Socialist International held a series of events in the context of the World Social Forum which took place in Porto Alegre from 26 to 31 January.
The SI Committee on Local Authorities convened on Wednesday 26 January at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS, chaired by Elio Di Rupo, Leader of the Socialist Party of Belgium, Mayor of Mons and Chair of the Committee. The discussions focused on the issue of globalisation in the context of local and municipal government, under the theme "What are the local alternatives to globalisation?". Participants at the meeting included Socialist International President António Guterres and Secretary General Luis Ayala; José Genoino, President of the PT, Brazil; the Committee's Vice-Chair Miguel Lifschitz, Mayor of Rosario, PS, Argentina; Carlos Lupi, President of the PDT, Brazil, as well as a large number of mayors, leaders, representatives of SI member parties and other interested individuals.
On 27 January, a delegation from the Socialist International, including President António Guterres, Secretary General Luis Ayala and representatives coming from different parts of the world, held discussions within the framework of the WSF with the leadership of the Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT, with the participation of José Genoino, Party President; Marco Aurelio García, Foreign Policy Advisor to President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva; Paulo Ferreira, National Secretary for International Affairs and other members of the Executive, at a common working dinner.
With a view to supporting the efforts of President "Lula" against hunger and poverty, a special meeting was organised by the international on Friday 28 January under the title "International Action against Hunger and Poverty: The Search for new financing mechanisms for development" with the participation of SI delegates and the coordinator of the inter-governmental working group on the initiative, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti, and the advisor for international affairs at the Ministry of the Secretary General of the Presidency of Brazil, Georgio Romano.
In the afternoon of that day, a debate on reform of the United Nations was co-hosted by the Socialist International and the Partido dos Trabalhadores, PT, at the Faculty of Law, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS, where the first version of a position paper prepared by a special SI Working Group on UN Reform was presented. The debate was led by a panel which included SI President António Guterres; Marco Aurelio García, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Brazil; Marina Sereni, Member of the Italian Parliament, DS, Italy; Professor Flávio Saraiva from the University of Brasilia, and was moderated by SI Secretary General Luis Ayala.
SI delegates and participants took part in the many debates, panels and seminars held at the Forum by civil society organisations, trade unions and other non-governmental organisations. Parliamentarians from member parties of the Socialist International worldwide also took part in the Fifth World Parliamentary Forum on 29 and 30 January, to continue the dynamics of international solidarity and further dialogue with social organisations on common themes. SI leaders and delegates also attended the presentation by President "Lula" of the 'Global Call for Action against Poverty' at the World Social Forum.