Johannesburg Council - The Progressive Agenda

15-16 November 2004

The Socialist International held its Council meeting on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November in Johannesburg, South Africa, hosted by the African National Congress, ANC, under the main theme "The Progressive Agenda: The priorities for our movement today".

The Council was attended by leaders and delegates from member parties and organisations from around the world. The agenda of the discussions further to the main theme included three panel debates, the first under the title "The African Union: building common responses for the people of the region"; the second "Ten years of the Beijing Platform for Action: which way forward to continue empowering women?"; and the third "Sustainable development: Fulfilling the commitments of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), Johannesburg 2002".

This gathering of the Council, the highest decision-making body of the organisation in the inter-Congress period, in Johannesburg underlined the commitment of the International to the concerns of the African people and the International's strong presence in the continent, where it has convened on previous occasions in recent years in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2000 and in Casablanca, Morocco, in 2002.

On the eve of the Council, on Sunday 14 November, a working meeting of the leadership of the International, the Presidium, was held with the participation of the President of the Republic of South Africa and of the ANC, Thabo Mbeki. The Presidium addressed an agenda which included three themes: priorities for the International in Africa, an evaluation of the outcome of the US elections and current developments in the Middle East. On Monday 15 November, the plenary meeting of the Council was opened by SI President António Guterres in an address in which he defined some of the tasks and priorities for social democracy today, and by South African Vice-President and Deputy President of the ANC, Jacob Zuma. At the opening other contributions were heard from the President of the Republic of Mozambique and leader of the Frelimo party, Joaquim Chissano, Prime Minister of Mauritius and leader of the Mauritius Militant Movement, Paul Bérenger, among others, on the main theme. On Monday 15 in the afternoon and on Tuesday 16 morning, the panel discussions took place with a broad representation of participants. (Panelists) On each subject addressed by the panels, the Council agreed specific resolutions reflecting the outcome of the debates. The Council also addressed the urgent and critical developments in the Middle East and the serious situation in Côte d'Ivoire.

The SI Secretary General, Luis Ayala, gave a report on the activities of the International and presented an outline of the work of the organisation for 2005.

At the closure of the meeting, Kgalema Motlanthe, Secretary General of the African National Congress, ANC, gave some final remarks in which he said "Our task, as we adjourn here today, is to return to our towns and cities, to our countries, and to our regions - and pursue with ever greater vigour and confidence the programme of progressive action we have deliberated on".

Other councils

Santo Domingo, 28-29 January 2019
Geneva, 26-27 June 2018
Barcelona, Spain, 24-25 November 2017
New York, 11-12 July 2017

Cartagena*, 2-4 March 2017

Geneva, 01-02 July 2016
Luanda, Angola, 27-28 November 2015
New York, 06-07 July 2015 
Geneva, 12-13 December 2014
Mexico City, 30 June - 1 July 2014
Istanbul, 11-12 November 2013
Cascais, Portugal, 4-5 February 2013

Cape Town*, 30 August - 1 September 2012

San José, Costa Rica, 23-24 January 2012
Athens, 1-2 July 2011
Paris, 15-16 November 2010
New York, 21-22 June 2010
Santo Domingo, 23-24 November 2009
Montenegro, 29-30 June 2009
Vallarta, 17-18 November 2008

Athens*, 20 June - 2 July 2008

Geneva, 29-30 June 2007
Santiago, 6-7 November 2006
Athens, 30-31 January 2006
Tel Aviv and Ramallah, 23-24 May 2005
Johannesburg, 15-16 November 2004
Madrid, 7-8 February 2004

São Paulo*, 26 October 2003 

Rome, 20-21 January 2003
Casablanca, 31 May - 1 June 2002
Santo Domingo, 26-27 November 2001
Lisbon, 29-30 June 2001
Maputo, 10-11 November 2000
Brussels, 10-11 April 2000

Paris* 7 November 1999

Buenos Aires, 25-26 June 1999
Geneva, 23-24 November 1998
Oslo, 18-19 May 1998
New Delhi, 10-11 November 1997
Rome, 21-22 January 1997

New York*, 8 September 1996

Brussels, 7-8 December 1995
Cape Town, 10-11 July 1995
Budapest, 2-3 December 1994
Tokyo, 10-11 May 1994
Lisbon, 6-7 October 1993
Athens, 9-10 February 1993

Berlin*, 15-17 September 1992

Santiago, 26-27 November 1991
Istanbul, 11-12 June 1991
New York, 8-9 October 1990
Cairo, 22-23 May 1990
Geneva, 23-24 November 1989

Stockholm*, 20-22 June 1989

Madrid, 11-12 May 1988
Dakar, 15-16 October 1987
Rome, 8-9 April 1987

*On the eve of the Congress