giovedì 13 Luglio 2017

Intervento al Consiglio dell’Internazionale Socialista

Socialist International Council

United Nations, New York

12 July, 2017


Let me start from the fact that the 2008 crisis has further widened the gap between the rich and the poor: wealth is more and more concentrated in the hand of the few, with the double impact of worsening both the economy and the living conditions of a growing number of people.

At the global level, since 2010 the poorest 50% of the world population has never owned more than 1.5% of global wealth and 1% of the richest has never controlled less than 46% of the wealth.

Since 2015 the situation has even worsened so we continue to witness a huge concentration of wealth in very few hands. This is unacceptable to those of us who believe that social justice is a fundamental value and goal for our action.


This massive, ongoing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few goes hand in hand with the growing inability of governments and states to impose a “fair” and equitable system of taxation and even to respect the rules of modern capitalism. I am thinking of the abuse of dominant positions on the market, such as control of the internet and the cartel of American manufacturers of heavy transportation vehicles.

The 2014 Oxfam report found a decrease in tax income from the richer members of society in 29 countries out of 30 (the Countries where data were available), meaning that the rich earn more and pay fewer taxes.


My proposal is that, if social justice retains its high stature among our guiding principles and values, we have to make the fight against tax evasion one of our priorities in order to fight social inequalities.

Also, and paradoxically, we, the socialists and social democrats, should also invoke and put into practice respect for the rules of modern capitalism to fight monopolies, dominant positions, cartels….

One troubling and indeed frightening example: the ongoing expansion of monopoly control over the agro-food industry (production and distribution), which heavily influences the price and quality of agricultural products and more in general of food.


To conclude on this point, we have to reassess internationalism: the only fruitful strategy in these fields must be at the global level. At the national level the economic power of multinational companies, in both the financial and industrial sectors, often overcomes and even overwhelms the power of national governments and has the ability to heavily influence the actions of political leaders, political parties, and in some cases of the government itself.

Corruption is something we have to fight on a daily basis. We must fight it both in principle and because of the multiplying effect it has on society.


My second point refers to gender parity: I am happy that in the Congress of Cartagena the decision was to empower the Council to make changes in the Statutes in order to implement the principle of having an equal number of women and men at all levels of our organization.


I am eager to see how we express this concept in a written article. If we put it in the Statutes as on objective, I fear that it remains not-defined as for the time of implementation. It may take a year, a decade, a century… and it still remains an objective. I suggest to be more “precise” and clarify our intentions and actions for a precise agenda. As the Secretary General of UN said yesterday: gender parity is something concrete and 50/50 representation is a means to change the structure of power. This is what Antonio Guterres literally said yesterday.


As for the Equality Committee, I am happy we are electing it. It will be a useful tool and I suggest it to be composed in a gender-balance way: 50% men and 50% women for the simple reason that gender democracy and gender parity is not a matter of women but a matter of women and men. I also suggest it to be an agile instrument so it should not be a crowded committee and, most of all, with a clear mandate: quick implementation of the principle of having an equal number of men and women at all levels of our organization and a role in monitoring all member parties of the Socialist International in their rules and Statutes, commitment ad actions for the same principle to be implemented.

This is even more complicated as I am pretty sure that member parties will jeolusly defend their autonomy. So the Committee must find a way to convince and to put pressure in an effective way.

Can we expect resistance to it. I am sure a hundred per ent it will happen.

But if equality between women and men is an issue of Human Rights for our movement , autonomy cannot be invoked. Can we invoke autonomy in order not to respect the value for example of social justice? Nobody will do it; the same is to be for gender equality. It is a difficult mandate but I never loose hope, on the contrary I am confident.