30 June, 2008
The sessions of the 23rd Congress of the Socialist International (SI) begin on Monday morning and end on Wednesday, at a resort hotel in Lagonissi, southeast of Athens.
According to the programme, which was released on Sunday by main opposition PASOK, SI president and PASOK leader George Papandreou will address Monday's morning session soon after messages are read.
Close to 700 participants from 150 parties and organisations from 120 countries, including party leaders, among them some heads of government and Presidents of Republics, ministers, parliamentarians and party representatives will attend the congress which will be held under the overarching theme "Global Solidarity: The courage to make a difference".
The Congress, the highest decision-making body of the organisation, will set the political priorities and strategies for the period ahead, and will admit new members and elect the authorities of the International.
The Congress will address four key issues which are at the heart of the worldwide social democratic movement today and at the centre of the international community's concerns: climate change, peace and the resolution of conflicts, the world economy and the question of migration.
The debates on the themes of the Congress will include addresses by leading key-note speakers, contributions by delegates from member parties and, additionally, panel discussions for a closer examination of some specific aspects of each Congress theme.
The first main theme "Acting Now On Climate Change: To achieve a sustainable world society" will build on the ongoing work of the SI Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which has already met in London in November 2007 and in Santiago, Chile, in March 2008.
"Working for a World in Peace: To resolve conflicts and overcome instability" will highlight the SI's engagement in different areas of the world where there is open conflict or where peace and stability are under threat in a debate with the key actors involved.
"Setting the Global Economy on a New Path: To bring growth and development with opportunities for all", with a panel addressing the issue of food shortages and hike in prices, under the title "Dealing with the food crisis: the long-term view".
Fourthly, the Congress will tackle the impact of migration globally, with the theme "Giving Migration a Human Face: To build a new migration agenda placing people first", during which a report will be discussed from the Committee which has been dealing with the issues arising due to this phenomenon in all regions around the world.
The election of a new SI president, honorary presidents, vice-presidents and secretary general will be held at the end of Monday's afternoon session.
The congress will come to an end at noon Wednesday with the adoption of motions and documents.
Source: Macedonian Press Agency