NEW YORK–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF-Dashnaktsutyun) participated in the Socialist International (SI) Council meeting held at the United Nations headquarters in New York, on June 21 and 22.
In addition to ARF Bureau member Mario Nalbandian (Nalpatian) and SI vice-president Maria Titizian, the ARF delegation included four ARF Eastern U.S. representatives.
Also in attendance were notables such as Ségolène Royal, former presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of France; George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece and President of SI; Jack Layton, Head of the New Democratic Party, Canada; Digvijay Singh, General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee; a high-ranking delegation from the new leadership of the Turkish CHP party and many others.
Prior to the Council meeting, Maria Titizian had attended the Socialist International Presidium dinner-meeting, where she discussed the consequences of the global financial crisis in the CIS.
The Council addressed four main issues and priorities of the social democratic movement in its agenda, including the Global Economy in the run-up to the G20 Summit in Toronto, for a Middle East in peace, working for a unified response on Climate Change and recent developments in the field of Disarmament and Non-proliferation. Unfortunately only two agenda items, Global Economy and Middle East Peace, were discussed and debated in detail and the remaining two topics were presented briefly.
At the well attended meeting of the Council, over three hundred leaders and representatives from approximately one hundred parties and organisations from all continents and regions of the world, exchanged views on the current phase of the financial crisis, days before heads of state and government first for the G8 and later for the G20 would gather in Toronto to map out their course of action for the world economy. The Global Economy was discussed in detail. Majority expressed the need to have a better coordinated global economic policy and the upcoming G20 Summit was deemed as an appropriate outlet to discuss and implement such policies. The need for more regulation, taxation–particularly a transaction tax on financial transactions, more equitable distribution of wealth and prioritizing sustainable growth over short term profits were considered important elements in working towards the Millennium Goals as well as avoiding or minimizing the impact of a possible new global financial crisis.
The social democratic leaders gathered in New York, in a statement, agreed that what was required today was a coordinated economic policy between the world’s major economies, financial reform and good governance.
A declaration on the challenges of global development by the SI Committee on Economic Policy, Labour and National Resources was also approved.
Middle East Peace also took center stage as a topic of concern for the SI Council. Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister of Israel and Israeli Labor Party leader, and Avshalom Vilan, Meretz-Yachad Party of Israel, presented their respective party’s views on the current situation in the region and what are the next steps to move forward towards a peaceful settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ammar Hijazi, from the Palestinain Fatah party, and Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, from the Palestine National Initiative, discussed the Palestinian perspectives on the peace process, the blockade of Gaza, the flotilla incident and the toll this conflict has taken on the men, women and children of Palestine. Neither one of the speakers for the Palestinian people mentioned Turkey or Turkey’s role in the recent crisis brought about by the flotilla incident. Several delegations then spoke about the need for a fair and just end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and in general condemned Israel for the blockade of Gaza. Following intense debates, a Council statement on the Middle East was adopted by acclamation.
In its discussions, the Council dealt with the issue of Climate Change in view of the forthcoming COP16 meeting in Cancun, and the matters of disarmament and non-proliferation were addressed leading to two declarations, A World Without Nuclear Weapons and a Comprehensive Arms Trade Treaty.
Following discussion of organizational matters, the Socialist International Council concluded the meeting by adopting several statements and resolutions on the topics discussed.
The Council agreed that its next Council will be held in Paris on 15-16 November, hosted by the French Socialist Party.
The ARF delegation met with Prime Minister George Papandreou, and discussed the shortcomings and general failure of the Turkey-Armenia Protocols. The ARF delegation discussed in detail the existing preconditions in the Protocols and the unwritten precondition Turkey decided to pursue once the Protocols were signed, namely the resolution of the conflict between the Republic of Mountainous (Nagorno) Karabagh and Azerbaijan. On the eve of his visit to Turkey, the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun informed Prime Minister Papandreou that the ARF supports opening the borders and establishing diplomatic relations with Turkey without any preconditions and this could be accomplished with the exchange of a simple agreement between the two governments stating as much and nothing more.
The ARF delegation also met with Dr. Mustafa Barghouti from the Palestine National Initiative. The delegation discussed the commonalities of the plights of the Armenian and Palestinian people. The ARF delegation indicated its support of the Palestinian people and the suffering they have and are enduring over the last 6 decades. The ARF also discussed in detail the similarities between the struggle of the Palestinian people and the Armenians in the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh and the universal right of all peoples to self-determination.
The ARF delegation met with several other delegations including Sweden, Australia, Georgia, United Kingdom, Kurdish parties from countries in the region (Turkey, Iraq, etc.), France, USA, Argentina, Cyprus and many others. One item of discussion with some of these delegations was the newly founded Hrayr Maroukhian Foundation and the possibility of cooperation with similar political foundations.
The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labor parties. It currently brings together 170 political parties and organizations from all continents. George Papandreou, the Prime Minister of Greece, is the President of the organization and Luis Ayala, from Chile, is the Secretary General.
In September 1996, the ARF rejoined the Socialist International, which it had originally joined in 1907. In 2003, the ARF became a full member of the Socialist International, thus becoming the only party in the CIS with such a status. During the XXIII Congress of the Socialist International, June 2008 in Athens, ARF-D representative Maria Titizian was elected vice-president of the organization. The SI Council in Mexico, November 2008, elected ARF Bureau member Mario Nalpatian as co-chair of the SI Committee for the CIS, the Caucasus and the Black Sea.
The ARF Women’s Group is a member of the SIW (Socialist International Women). The youth organization of the ARF, the Armenian Youth Federation, is a full member of the IUSY (International Union of Socialist Youth).
List of speakers at the Council of the Socialist International, United Nations, New York, 21-22 June 2010:
21 June 2010
Remarks by Luis Ayala, SI Secretary General
George Papandreou, SI President
José Miguel Insulza, Organisation of American States
First theme: Global economy
Ségolène Royal, PS, France
Jack Layton, NPD/NDP, Canada
Jutta Urpilainen, SDP, Finland
Mahamadou Issoufou, PNSD, Niger
Barbara Prammer, SPOe, Austria
Shri Digvijay Singh, Indian National Congress
Viviana Pinero, IUSY
Sergio Bitar, PPD, Chile
Carlos Eduardo Vieira da Cunha, PDT, Brazil
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES
Fathallah Oualalou, USFP, Morocco
Chantal Kambiwa, SDF, Cameroon
Christoph Zöpel, SDP, Germany
Ousmane Tanor Dieng, PS, Senegal
Enrique Guerrero, PSOE, Spain
Second theme: For a Middle East in Peace
Ehud Barak, ILP, Israel
Husan Zomblot, Fatah, Palestine
Abu Vilan, Meretz, Israel
Mustafa Barghouthi, PNI, Palestine
Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, PS, France
Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, ANC, South Africa
Paulo Pisco, PS, Portugal
Gulsun Bilgehan, CHP, Turkey
Johan Hassel, IUSY
22 June 2010
Report of the Chair of the SI Finance & Administration Committee
Perttti Paasio, SDP, Finland
Report of the Chair of the SI Ethics Committee
Maurice Braud, PS, France
Presentation of the Report of the SI Mission to Venezuela
Renée Fregosi, PS, France
Jesús Rodriguez, UCR, Argentina
Continuation: Global Economy
José Lello, PS, Portugal
Miguel Vargas, PRD, Dominican Republic
Zlatko Lagumdzija, SDP BiH, Bosnia & Herzegovina
Juliao Mateus Paulo, MPLA, Angola
Rubén Giustiniani, PS, Argentina
Victor Benoît, Union, Haiti
Pascal Affi N’Guessan, PS, Senegal
Ahmed Daddah, RFD, Mauritania
Bruno Amoussou, PSD, Benin
Adrian Severin, Group of Socialists & Democrats
Manuel Laguarda, PSU, Uruguay
Lapo Pistelli, PD, Italy
Eero Heinäluoma, SDP, Finland
Third theme: Climate change
Zita Gurmai, MSzP, Hungary
Elenko Bozhkov, PBSD, Bulgaria
Fourth theme: Disarmament
Konstantin Woinoff, SPD, Germany
Kent Härstedt, SAP, Sweden
Edi Rama, SPA, Albania
Bo Hla Tint, Burma
Adoption of Statements and Resolutions
Closing remarks by SI President George Papandreou
Meeting with Armenia’s UN Ambassador Garen Nazarian
Following the SI Council meeting, Mario Nalbandian and Maria Titizian paid a visit to Armenia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Garen Nazarian. They were accompanied by
Antranig Kasbarian, Chairman, ARF Eastern Region USA, and Ms. Ani Tchaghlasian. ANC – Easter Region Board Member.
Titizian and Nalbandian discussed the Socialist International Council meeting they attended at the United Nations on June 21 and 22. They described the ARF’s work and commitment to the SI and its ability to communicate and forge relationships with similar movements in many nations.
Mr. Nalbandian discussed, among other issues, the European Parliament resolution adopted on May 20, 2010 on the need for an EU strategy for the South Caucasus, the effects the Protocols have had on cooperation between the Diaspora and Armenian Embassies globally and the ARF-D’s willingness to cooperate on issues in the Diaspora where there are common goals and aspirations.
The ARF delegation reconfirmed its commitment to support the work of the Armenian Mission to the United Nations in matters where common policy goals and the security, independence and rights of the Armenian nation are concerned.
Ambassador Nazarian concluded the meeting by describing the Armenian National Committee Eastern Region Internship which will be held at the UN Mission under the auspices and directorship of Ambassador Nazarian.