On 24-25 January, the SI Committee on Peace, Democracy and Human Rights held its latest meeting in Geneva, at the Palais des Nations, United Nations, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Milos Zeman of the Czech Social Democratic Party.
The Committee, under its main theme 'Conflict prevention and conflict resolution', examined the development of regional conflicts throughout the world, addressing the reasons and nature of conflict today. A list of conflicts and areas of concern was drawn up to concentrate the Committee's attention. The Committee agreed criteria to recommend initiatives to the International for further work in support of peace. It agreed to prioritise action in areas of hidden conflicts in particular, underlining the usefulness of preventive diplomacy and the need to strengthen this mechanism. The Committee agreed as well that action should be taken where social democratic forces faced such difficulties, and to promote initiatives in cases where the international community had not yet put in place mechanisms to discourage conflict.
The Committee gave special attention to the issue of the struggle against terrorism, analysing developments, in particular since September 2001, and it formed a consensus to advance elements for a definition of international terrorism.
It was further agreed by the members of the Committee that a report on these discussions would be presented to the next Council meeting, as well as a proposal for a resolution.
The Committee decided to take concrete initiatives on the issues of its brief, agreeing to send SI missions to Belarus, Nepal and Indonesia during the year 2002. The first of these missions will visit Minsk in April, with the participation of Prime Minister Milos Zeman as Chair of the Committee and the SI Secretary General, among others.