Initiatives on the Structures and Organisation of the Socialist International as We Move into the New Century

XXI Congress of the Socialist International, Paris, 8-10 November 1999

Presented by the Secretary General and approved by the Congress


• Ensure that the composition of the Presidium reflects the global character and inclusiveness of the organisation.

• Establish within the Presidium a small group, an executive that would, together with the President and the Secretary General, be closely involved in our activities and would respond to developments affecting our International. The composition of this group would be decided by the members of the Presidium, based on the proposals of the President, at its first meeting after the Congress.

• Have the Council consider at its next meeting its rules of procedure to enhance its work in areas such as formats of debate, as well as proposals to hold different types of Councils, for example, working meetings on matters of immediate concern to our members and gatherings that address broader themes. At this first Council meeting after our Congress, the work to be carried out by the International in the coming period should be laid out.

• Strengthen the work of our regional committees by stimulating even greater cooperation among our member parties, both within the various geographic areas and within our organisation overall. Review by the Council of the work of our thematic committees in light of changing global developments and consider initiatives such as the holding of seminars and special conferences, and the establishment of working groups or task forces with specific mandates over determined periods of time. Further the use of fact finding, election monitoring and other special missions.

• To hold a new type of world forum with the participation of leading social democratic personalities, including governmental leaders, as well as noted economists, academics and labour and business figures in a progressive gathering with panels, presentations, working groups. To hold the first of these events in June 2001 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the reestablishment of our International.

• Develop an enhanced communications strategy, including the establishment of a working group of press and communications officers from our member parties, based on the more active involvement and commitment of all our leaders, and a greater, more concerted role for our members in their own countries, where they know best how to give greater visibility to the work of our International.

• While recognising that there can be no substitute for membership fees, the guarantee of our independence and credibility, pursue, through a SIFAC working group, alternative sources of funding which would be used to strengthen the overall capabilities of the organisation, to open the way to more and different types of initiatives and to increase the professional resources available to the Secretariat.

• Have the Council establish structures to help advance, where needed, the organisational capacity of our parties such as training schemes, electoral programmes and campaign development, drawing on the resources and experience of our members.

• Strengthen the capability of SIFAC by increasing, in a way that reflects the growing diversity and global character of our organisation, the number of elected members from nine to fifteen. SIFAC will further develop the criteria for membership and report accordingly.