Global Progressive Forum

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The Global Progressive Forum (GPF) is a common initiative of the Party of European Socialists along with its political group in the European Parliament, and the Socialist International. The GPF sprang up from the success of the first World Social Forum held in January 2001 in Porto Alegre, in Brazil. The Global Progressive Forum aims to bring together a diversity of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, India, and Latin America to discuss and propose alternatives to the negative aspects of the current Globalization process which specifically affects Under Developed countries, Third world countries and developing countries. World conferences

Following to the first global conference in November 2003 and the second on September 2005 in Milano, the Global Progressive Forum is holding its 2009 Conference in Brussels. This conference gives the opportunity to gather worldwide key international players to elaborate progressive ways of tackling the negative outcomes of globalization while engaging in a new vision of a globalised world from which we can all benefit.

The Global Progressive Forum sprang up from the success of the first World Social Forum (WSF) held in January 2001 in Brazil and participated to the World Social Fora of Porto Alegre, Mumbai, Nairobi and Belem. The GPF has also been actively involved in the European Social Fora of London, Athens and Malmö. The GPF is a member of the International Council of the WSF.[1]

Brussels Conference, 2009

Bill Clinton addresses the Forum

Ex-US President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at a conference on the global crisis to be held in the European Parliament on 2 and 3 April, 2009. Mr. Clinton will address the opening session of the Global Progressive Forum. About 1,500 people from all over the world are expected to attend the event, timed to coincide with the G20 meeting in London and NATO's anniversary.

The Global Progressive Forum brings together politicians, trades unions, NGOs and representatives of progressive international organisations. Along with President Clinton, participants will include Pascal Lamy, Howard Dean, Barney Frank, Helen Clark, Antonio Guterres, Vandana Shiva, Salima Ghezali, Susan George, Zwelinzima Vavi, Aminata Traore and Chico Whitaker.

Discussions will focus on finding new answers to the global economic and financial, food and climate and energy crises.

Key moments include:

  • Opening event at 15.00 on Thursday 2 April with President Bill Clinton
  • Workshop 1: Progressive politics in Globalization at 16.00 on Thursday 2 April with Howard Dean
  • Workshop 10: A New direction for capitalism at 9.00 on Friday 3 April with Pascal Lamy and Barney Frank
  • 'Time for a Global New Deal' at 12.00 on Friday 3 April: Signing of declaration for a better globalization with high level politicians, trade unionists and NGO representatives and outstanding international personalities.

The Global Progressive Forum 2009 is co-organized by the PES, the PES Group in the European Parliament and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies.

The event is open to the media throughout and will be streamed on


Below is the latest draft programme and speakers confirmed to date.


15.00-16.15 Opening Event (Hemicycle)

President Bill Clinton, President of the US, Chair of the Global Clinton Initiative and Clinton Foundation

  • Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the PES, former Prime Minister of Denmark
  • Josep Borrell, Chair of the Global Progressive Forum, Chair of the Development committee of the European Parliament
  • Martin Schulz, President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament
  • Sharon Burrow, ITUC President, Australia

16.15-17.30 Workshop 1 - Progressive politics in globalisation (Hemicycle)

17.30-19.00 Workshop 2: Making Trade work for people (Hemicycle)

Workshop 3: Sustainable development for social justice (Room P5B 001)

Workshop 4: Equal rights for all Women (Anna Lindh Room P1A 002)

Workshop 5: Regional integration for better global governance (AFET Room P3C 050)


9.00-10.30 Workshop 6: Why Africa matters (Hemicycle)

Workshop 7: Tackling the energy crisis and climate change (AFET Room P3C 050)

Workshop 8: Achieving lasting Peace (Room P5B 001)

  • Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luxembourg
  • Gareth Evans, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
  • Nobuaki Koga, General Secretary of RENGO, Japan
  • Salima Ghezali, Sakharov Prize 1997, writer, Algeria
  • Diego López Garrido, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Spain

Workshop 9: Making poverty history (Anna Lindh Room P1A 002)

  • Vandana Shiva, Director, Research Foundation for science, technology and ecology, India
  • Ousmane Tanor Dieng, Leader of the Socialist Party, SI Vice-president and Chair of the SI Africa committee , State Minister, Senegal
  • Jean Kamau, Country Director of ActionAid, Kenya
  • Mercedes Bresso, President of the PES Group in the Committee of Region, President of the Piedmont Piedmont Region, Italy

10.30-12.00 Workshop 10: New direction for capitalism (Hemicycle)

12.00-12.30 GPF Time for a Global New Deal - Signing of declaration for a better globalization with high level politicians, trade unionists and NGO representatives

14.00-15.30 Workshop 11: Global Deal for Green Growth (Hemicycle)

15.30-17.00 Workshop 12: Implementing Decent Work for All (Hemicycle)

Workshop 13: Feeding the planet (AFET Room P3C 050)

Workshop 14: Globalization and migration (Room P5B 001)

Workshop 15: A New Global Governance (Anna Lindh Room P1A 002)

17.00-18.30 Workshop 16 - Progressives; the way forward, followed by Closing Ceremony (Hemicycle)

Latin American connection

Having acknowledged that the Latin American continent was a key player in today's world and that Latin American progressive movements were playing a key role in these positive trends, while existing international socialist fora have not proven to be proper platforms to build strong relations with these partners, one of the key priorities of the GPF was to strengthen its relation with Brazil’s Partido dos Trabalhadores and the Foro de Sao Paulo.

During a visit to Europe in June 2010, Valter Pomar, former PT International Secretary and current Executive Secretary of the Foro de São Paulo met, among others, the GPF Secretary General Javier Moreno Sanchez and several PES member parties to highlight the importance of creating a link between the Foro and the European socialist family. In this context he extended an invitation to attend the Foro’s 20th anniversary meeting in Buenos Aires which was attended by PES member parties (PS-France ,PSOE-Spain, DP-Italy). In January 2012, the PES attended the founding of the European Secretariat of the Foro de Sao Paulo in Madrid, Spain. PS France and DP Italy were also present. At this meeting strong pressure was exerted on the PES to strengthen its relation with the Foro by means of regular political exchanges, even on an informal basis. As a follow up, a delegation was sent to the 4th Congress of Brazil’s Partido dos Trabalhadores.

The Global Progressive Forum Delegation, led by Secretary General Javier Moreno Sanchez, visited Brazil on 21-23 May 2012. A number of bilateral meetings were held in Sao and Brasilia with, among others, Gilberto Carvalho, Minister of the Secretariat General of the Presidency; Aloizio Mercadante, Minister of Education; Luis Dulci, Director of the Instituto Lula; Arthur Enrique, President of the CUT; Paulo Teixeira, Member of the Federal Parliament; Iole Iliada, International Secretary of the PT; Valter Pomar, Executive Secretary of the Foro de Sao Paulo and Nalu Faria, Coordinator of the Sempreviva Organização Feminista. Javier Moreno Sanchez also spoke at the SOLIDAR Global Network conference on "The role of labour movement organizations in shaping the international cooperation agenda after 2015" (22-24 May 2012) in Rio de Janeiro.

The Foro de Sao Paulo (FSP) is an umbrella organisation that gathers close to a hundred left-wing political parties of Latin America. The FSP was created in 1990 by the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party) and since has assumed its leadership by always holding the Executive Secretariat. The parties that form the Foro represent very different spectra of the left and include members from the far left, to communists or former communists to social democratic parties.

In 2012, the first GPF observatory mission to the meeting of the Foro de Sao Paulo was organized: a GPF delegation of two MEPs -Vicent Ramon Garces and Andres Perello Rodrigues- attended from 3 to 6 de July 2012 in Caracas, Venezuela. A second observatory mission was sent to the Foro de Sao’s 19th meeting, which took place in São Paulo from 31 July to 4 August 2013.

From 27 to 30 January 2014, the GPF welcomed a delegation of the Foro de Sao Paulo to Brussels and organized the conference "EU and Latin America: Progressive Dialogue over the Atlantic". This de- legation was composed of 4 members from Frente para la Victoria ("Front for Victory") of Argentina, Frente Amplio (Broad Front) of Uruguay, Partido Socialista Frente Amplio (Socialist Party Broad Front) of Ecuador, and Frente Socialista (Socialist Front) of Porto Rico.

It paved the way for future, reinforced cooperation, especially regarding economic and social policies, given that the Latin American region, led by Socialist Governments, is currently showing strong signs of a sustainable economic and social growth while European conservative austerity policies fail to deliver.

A series of bi-lateral meetings included the PES, FEPS, SOLIDAR or the Belgian Socialist Party with a view to strengthening the ties of reflection and cooperation on both sides, as well as introducing them to the Progressive Alliance movement.

The conference held on 29 January in the European Parliament was a fitting end to the Foro de Sao Paulo three-day visit to Brussels. The debate focused on the relations between EU and Latin America, namely between left-wing parties, the issue of left-wing coalitions and unity and the economic and social development models of both continents.

The successful setting up of platforms of common understanding that gathered and united the different parties from the left wing spectrum in Latin America pave the way to the possibility of unifying the different left-wing forces and seeking common ground for global political alliances. These platforms were the result of several years of negotiations and intense debate that eventually led to diminishing the differences that separated the several political parties and forces and allowed them to find common points of interest. It was through these achievements that the left came out united and formed the electoral coalitions that would lead it to power in Latin America.[3]