Socialist International's Presidium makes statement on democracy in North Africa, Middle East

The Socialist International's (SI) Presidium which convened in Athens over the weekend, in an announcement on Sunday stressed that "we express our unequivocal solidarity not only for those struggling now for democracy in North Africa and the Middle East, but to all those as well who are defending democracy in other parts of the world at every moment."

The statement underlines that the Socialist International "has a considerable history of contribution to democratic struggles in southern Europe in the '70s, in South America and the Caribbean in the 80s, again in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia in the 90s, socialdemocrat, labour and socialist parties of the Socialist International had an active participation in the democratisation process. It is an issue of vital importance for us to use these experiences to support the democrats of today and for us to recognise that this moment has a similar importance for the Arab world."

The presidium refers in the statement to an "Arab Spring" that "began from Tunisia and became stormy with the events that inspired and played a catalytical role in Egypt."

The statement also refers to "postmodern revolutions" that have as a common characteristic that "they began by young men and women who overcame racial and social discriminations and used the only weapons that they had at their disposal, modern technology and the social media."

It further said that "the success of the transition to democracy, in Egypt and Tunisia, is of vital importance for the entire region and, mainly, for all those who as a reply to their demands met with force and suppression. We are seeing in Libya that the voice of the people was not heeded by the regime, and that the situation is developing dangerously."

The Socialist International also reiterates its support for the absolute right of the Palestinian people for freedom, democracy and a country status.

Moreover, it pointed out that "the Presidium of the Socialist International, during the meeting in Athens on March 19 2011, underlines the importance of democracy as part of the identity of socialdemocracy, and on this basis, our organisation is in readiness to cooperate with all the democratic forces that are emerging in the Arab world today, and that equally share our commitment for good governance, social justice, sustainable development and peace."

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