In accordance with previous planning, CDI devoted the past September 21 and 22, 2012, to two important political events.
On Friday morning, September 21th, the complete membership of the CDI Executive Committee met to discuss important organizational issues. In addition, other political matters of concern to member parties were discussed.
The afternoon was devoted to the Meeting of Leaders, which involved the presence and active participation of Prime Ministers, Government Ministers and other political leaders of a great number of countries of the five continents covered by CDI.
At the close of the official program on Saturday 22 September, the delegates took part in a private audience with His Holiness the Pope, Benedict XVI, in his residency at Castel Gandolfo.
The meeting of the Executive Committee took place on the morning of Friday, September 21, in the “Capitolare” Room of the Italian Senate.
During the meeting, in which member parties of the five continents took part, several resolutions and working papers were approved, including the working papers on “The Arab Spring and Democratization : Lessons to be Learned” and “Challenges to Democracy – Radicalism and Populism”. The drafting of these documents involved intensive inputs by the European parties as well as by the parties of Northern Africa and Lebanon.
The approved resolutions dealt with Lebanon, Panama, Venezuela, the instabilities currently engulfing the Arab countries, and recent attacks against Western interests in some countries affected by the so-called “Arab spring”. An additional resolution was devoted to the case of the whistleblower Magnitsky, who lost his life in prison in the Russian Federation in the year 2009.
The morning session was capped by the election of the President and of the new Executive Committee, which was unanimously approved.
The session was closed at 1 p.m., offering delegates the opportunity to have further debates on important issues of current interest.
The new Executive Committee approved in Rome on September 21 is the following:
- D. Pier Ferdinando CASINI (Italy)
- D. Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ (Spain)
- D. Cesar MAIA (Brasil)
- Dña. Lourdes FLORES NANO (Peru)
- D. Federico ANTUN (Dominic Rep. )
- D. Gustavo MADERO (Mexico)
- D. Andrés HERNANDEZ (Cuba)
- D. Mariano RAJOY (Spain)
- D. Viktor ORBAN (Hungary)
- D. Peter HINTZE (Germany)
- D. Antonis SAMARAS (Greece)
- D. Alf SVENSSON (Sweden)
- Dña. Naha MOUKNASS (Mauritania)
- D. Amine GEMAYEL (Lebanon)
- D. Abdesselam BOUCHOUAREB (Argelia)
- D. Edgardo ANGARA (Philipines)
- D. Wilfried MARTENS (Ex Oficio, Belgium)
- D. Jorge OCEJO (Ex Oficio, Mexico)
- D. Carlos VEIGA (Ex Oficio, Cabo Verde)
- Dña. Ofelia ACEVEDO (Cuba)
- D. Armin LASCHET (Germany)
Deputy Executive Secretaries:
- D. Mario DAVID (Portugal)
- Dña. Emanuela FARRIS (Italy)
During the afternoon of Friday 21, 2012, the Meeting of Leaders was held in the “Aula Dei Gruppi Parlamenti” of the Italian Parliament. More than 250 delegates from member parties took part. In addition, more than 130 journalists from various national and international mass- media were present.
The meeting was chaired by Pier Ferdinando Casini, President of CDI ; Antonio López-Istúriz, Executive Secretary; and Wilfried Martens, President of the European People’s Party (EPP).
Before proceeding with the agenda, a moment of silence was observed in memory of the leader of the Cuban Liberation party (MCL – Movimiento Cubano de Liberacion), Oswaldo Paya, who lost his life in a tragic car-accident in July 2012. Oswaldo Paya was an honorary Vice President of CDI and a recipient of the Sakharov Peace Prize awarded by the European Parliament, in recognition of his dedication and struggle – in enormously difficult conditions – for human rights and freedom in Cuba.
President Casini presented a wide-ranging exposé on the most relevant issues and situations in the world today, which was of great interest to the attendees.
Firstly, he expressed his gratitude to the collaborators of the Hon. Gianfranco Fini, President of the Italian Senate, for their assistance. Subsequently, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti gave a speech on the situation in Europe and its repercussions, which was greatly relevant in these difficult moments that the European countries are going through.
Other participants in the event included the Minister-President of the Spanish Government, Mariano Rajoy ; Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban ; Enda Kenny of Ireland ; Antonis Samaras of Greece ; Sali Berisha of Albania ; Massoud Barzani, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan ; former President of Lebanon Amine Gemayel ; the President of the National Council of Syria,
Abdulbaset Sieda and the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs José Manuel García-Margallo, representing the European Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Club of Berlin.
A keynote speaker was Yevgenia Timoshenko, the daughter of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, jailed by the government in power. She elaborated on her mother’s current situation. In doing so, she called on the international community not to sit idly by but to take action against her mother’s detention which is not only unjust but detrimental to her health.
The session was closed with a memorable speech by President Wilfried Martens.
Executive Committee Secretary Antonio López-Istúriz also provided an important testimonial during the session.