IUSY Paper on SI Reform
In Middle East and in Northern Africa people are fighting for their rights to freedom. In Tunisia and Egypt we have seen how their protests have made dictators fall. In Lybia it is clear that many lives will be lost in the fight for freedom. In Iran the green movement mhas challenged a regime that is determine to fight with any means for its existence. The people that now are fighting for their rights – their human rights – have little to thank the outside world for. Instead of pushing for human rights and democracy most governments have focused on trade agreements no matter if they were signed on the back of unbearable working conditions or inhuman regimes. It is time to be self-critic and to choose a different path. One of the reasons that this have been undergoing is that the United Nations – our global body that should be the driving force for human rights – has been to weak, however the UN can only be as strong as the political will of it’s member organisations/states. It is time for global democratic governance that puts human rights and democracy first.
Looking around us, whether it is in our own communities or it is in the world as a whole, we can see how injustice, discrimination and oppression are hurting our societies. We can see how young people are not getting the chance to educate themselves because of the lack of schools in developing countries or budget cuts in wealthy countries. Youth employment is a global problem leaving young generations without the possibility to form their lives. For those in the labour market we can see how their rights is decreasing at the same time as trade unions are getting smashed by right-wing governments. Everybody has the right to decent work – decent life. Poverty, the lack of water and food are leaving people in lives with little hope. The UN Millennium Development Goals address some of these issues but even they are not likely to be reached by 2015. The economical crisis hit the most vulnerable people in our societies. We bailed out the financial markets but not the people. The neoliberal system failed but we are still stuck in it. It is time for a global economical system that puts people first.
For us as socialists and social democrats it is time to be self-critic on how the world is developing and the role we play. Socialism and Social Democracy are more needed than ever and when is a better time than now? The economical crisis has showed the need of a global balance market economy that combines sustainable growth with welfare – education, employment, housing, health care and social security – for all.
The demonstrations in Middle East and Northern Africa have shown that democracy and human rights cannot be refused to people in any part of the world. Our global movements – the Socialist International and the International Union of Socialist Youth – have a crucial role to play. The fact that undemocratic regimes in Tunisia and Egypt held membership in the Socialist International is sad, unacceptable and must lead to actions.
In 2008 IUSY started a reform process within our movement to modernise and develop our organization and the way we work and to develop our political debate and program. We believe that we have reached far but we still have more to do. At the SI Congress in Athens 2008 IUSY put forward the proposal that the SI should also launch a reform process. The IUSY initiative was well supported but no decision was taken and little happened. Today we can see some of the results.
IUSY strongly believes in the need for global cooperation. Global political solutions are more needed than ever. If we as Socialists and Social Democrats want to take the lead on forming the global agenda we need to work together. Our global movements can gives us the framework if they are relevant, well functioning and with a clear political agenda. During the lead of the SI President George Papandreou the political agenda has developed. However the SI as organization needs a total reform. IUSY stays committed to the SI and wants to strengthen the cooperation and play a constructive part in the work that lay in front of us.
The IUSY Presidium presents the following suggestions – which are a developed from the IUSY initiative on SI Reform from 2008 – to the SI and its membership organizations.
– At the next SI World Council in 2011 the SI should appoint a reform body with a strong mandate, which includes representation of IUSY and SIW, that has the task to:
* Set a clear strategy for the role of the SI in the 21st century;
* Put forward suggestion on how to increase the level of political debate and develop the political agenda;
* Put forward suggestion on how to modernise the management of the organizations, develop the financial situation and working methods;
* Put forward suggestion on how to strengthen cooperation between IUSY and SI;
* Put forward statutory changes to ensure a vibrant and well represented organization. IUSY has long supported the use of term limits in its own statutes. We call upon the SI to adopt the same approach and introduce term limits of no more than two terms for key leadership positions. A Congress should be held every second year;
* Evaluate the membership of the SI and make recommendations;
– A SI World Congress should be called for the autumn of 2011 to take decisions elect representatives of all bodies.
IUSY considers itself to be a constructive part in the reform process of the SI and we are looking forward to take part in the debate and the hard work to reform our movement. It is time for Debate, Action and Change.
Viviana Piñeiro, President
Johan Hassel, Secretary General