The delegation of the Eritrean People's Democratic Party (EPDP), which participated at the Berlin Conference of the Progressive Alliance held between 12 and 13 March 2017, urged fraternal parties through its widely distributed statement and bilateral corridor contacts the urgency of actively supporting potential democratic alternatives to the repressive regimes in many African countries, on top of the list being Eritrea.
The EPDP delegation, consisting of party chairman, Mr. Mengesteab Asmerom, and Dr. Aklilu Ghirmai, leadership member and deputy head for foreign relations, was attending the conference held at the Willy-Brandt-Haus in Berlin alongside 120 party-delegations from 80 countries, worldwide. The conference, convened under the motto of "Shaping Our Future: for Freedom, Justice and Solidarity," was hosted by the German SPD.
The Eritrean delegation's message did not only explain the ever worsening and distressing political, socio-economic and human rights situation in Eritrea but reminded member parties of the Progressive Alliance their responsibility to help address the root causes of mal-governance and repression in the world. It quoted the one of the aims of the Progressive Alliance which is a pledge "to promote solidarity with our comrades all around the globe who are fighting for our values of freedom, justice and solidarity, often risking their lives and suffering great personal hardship."
The EPDP thus stated that it is part of the Progressive Alliance's solidarity and pledged support in its global campaign to help sister parties to come to power. The statement finally recommended the Berlin conference to think of establishing at one point "a special body that can review the situation of progressive movements working from exile and give advice as to how those forces can be promoted and empowered to become democratic alternatives to existing dictatorships" in their respective countries.
The report of the Progressive Alliance was presented under the title of "Shaping our Future - for a Global Social and Ecological Transformation." After keynote speeches and discussions on the report, there followed two panel discussions under the headings: 1) Our Progressive Agenda: Towards Economic and Social Justice, and 2) Our Progressive Agenda: For a Democratic and Peaceful World Society.
Addressing and participating as presenters at these panel discussions were leading figures of the member parties, among them, Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Loefven; Martin Schulz, the former president of the European parliament who is now SPD's candidate for German Chancellorship; Antonio Costa, former PM of Portugal. In a conference where the subject of populism was hotly discussed as topic of a panel, the American Democratic Party was represented by Martin O’Malley, former governor 0f Maryland.