For a Middle East in peace, Meeting of the SI Council in Tel Aviv and Ramallah

23-24 May 2005

On 23-24 May in Tel Aviv and Ramallah, the Socialist International held a meeting of its Council, with the participation of leaders and representatives from its member parties and organisations from around the world.

The Council, which convenes every six months, met on this occasion in the Middle East to underline the International's commitment to the search for peace in the region and to encourage Israelis and Palestinians to move forward along the path of dialogue and negotiation at a crucial juncture for the region's future.

Under the main theme "For a Middle East in peace, with political and economic democracy: the social democratic vision", the Council meeting, hosted by the Israel Labour Party, the Israeli Yachad Party, and the Palestinian Fatah, all members of the International, held two sessions, one in Tel Aviv and the other in Ramallah.

The session in Tel Aviv was opened on the morning of Monday 23 with contributions from Shimon Peres, Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel; Imad Shakur, Member of the Palestinian National Council; Yossi Beilin, Leader of the Yachad Party from Israel; and SI President António Guterres. A number of leaders from Socialist International member parties participated in the debate on the main theme.

On the afternoon of the first day, the Council received a report from the Chair of the SI Committee on the Economy, Social Cohesion and the Environment, Christoph Zöpel (Germany, SPD), and the position papers 'Financial and Economic Issues, The Bretton Woods Institutions and Global Economic Governance' and 'Trade and Social Rights', prepared by the Committee, were approved, as were the following declarations: 'Socialist International's Second Semi-Annual Review on Democratic Governance for Sustainable Development in a Global Society'; 'Millennium Development Goals', and 'World Summit on the Information Society'. A position paper -'Reforming the United Nations for a New Global Agenda' - prepared by a special Working Group established by the last SI Congress was adopted, following a presentation by Maria João Rodrigues (Portugal, PS). A resolution on the establishment of a global network of parliamentarians from SI member parties, an area of work mandated to the SI Secretary General, was approved.

The President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, delivered a special address to the Council meeting and welcomed the presence of the International, acknowledging a climate of expectation with regard to latest developments in the Middle East.

The afternoon session ended with a report of the Secretary General of the Socialist International, Luis Ayala, detailing the activities and the focus of attention of the organisation during the last six month period.

In the evening, in Ramallah, the delegates to the Council had a special meeting with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, who thanked the International for its continuing involvement in the search for peace in the Middle East.

On Tuesday 24, the session in Ramallah was opened with addresses by Nabil Shaath, Deputy and Acting Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority; Abbas Zaki on behalf of Fatah; Avshalom Vilan, MK, of the Yachad Party; Colette Avital, MK, of the Israel Labour Party; and, SI President António Guterres. Participants continued the discussions of the previous day in Tel Aviv on the main theme.

At the end of the debates, a resolution on democracy and peace in the Middle East was introduced by Thorbjørn Jagland (Norway, DNA) on behalf of the SI Middle East Committee which he chairs, and was unanimously adopted.

In other decisions taken, the Council agreed to recommend the upgrade of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, PUK, Iraq, and of the Democratic Party, Serbia,of Serbia and Montenegro to full membership in the International, and of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan , PDKI, Iran, and the Assembly of Democratic Forces, RFD, of Mauritania to consultative status. In accordance with the SI's statutes, the Council elected George Papandreou, Leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, Pasok, Greece; Mohamed El-Yazghi, First Secretary of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, USFP, Morocco, and Horacio Serpa of the Liberal Party of Colombia as Vice-Presidents of the Socialist International, to occupy positions that had become vacant since the last Congress.

Speakers, Participants
Report of the Secretary General
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