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AN APPEAL TO GOVERNMENTS GATHERED AT THE COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES MEETING

12 November 2002


On the occasion of the second Community of Democracies meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea, November 10-12, 2002, government ministers and civil society leaders from around the world have gathered to address the problems of strengthening democracy on the national, regional and global levels.

Democratic societies confront formidable challenges from an array of internal and external pressures. Individuals and citizen groups must remain vigilant and vocal to secure inalienable rights of freedom and human dignity. Democratic governments must make it their permanent mission to strengthen democratic institutions and promote democratic values, both in their own countries and abroad, as set forth in the historic Warsaw Declaration. They should band together to resist terrorism and criminality, but must do so in accordance with respect for human rights and international law, as stated in the Warsaw Declaration. Democratic states must also redouble their efforts to build stable and prosperous democratic societies at home and abroad as the most effective long-term antidote to extremism and terrorist violence. The world¡¦s democracies must devise new ways of cooperating with one another to safeguard the democratic gains of the 20th century and to advance a common agenda for democratic change in the years ahead.

We, the undersigned, in the interest of helping to create an international environment conducive to democratic development, make the following appeal to governments gathered at the Seoul Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies and invite other like-minded citizens to join us.



Strengthening the Community of Democracies

Only governments that respect democratic norms set forth in the Warsaw Declaration should be included in the Community of Democracies.

We applaud the decision of the Convening Group governmentsƒx to adopt the democratic standards outlined in the Warsaw Declaration as criteria for participation in the Community of Democracies. We recognize the value of creating a category of observer states that have not yet met these standards and therefore are not allowed to participate in the group¡¦s decision-making process until they have made demonstrable progress toward implementing democratic reforms.

We propose the creation of a third category of candidate states which subscribe to these standards and are making demonstrable progress toward them. Candidate states would enjoy all the benefits of membership as long as they continue to make concrete progress.

The Community of Democracies should establish a transparent mechanism to monitor and assess which governments continue to meet the democratic standards set forth in the Warsaw Declaration. It should issue warnings and offer assistance when democratic crises erupt. Where political rights and civil liberties are seriously eroding, the Community of Democracies should suspend the government in question unless it is taking concrete steps to improve the situation. If a democratically-elected government is overthrown, the illegitimate regime should be expelled immediately from the Community of Democracies. In making these decisions, governments must systematically consult with civil society organizations, political parties and independent experts, especially those groups actively working to promote democratic reforms in countries under review.

To ensure effective implementation of its plan of action, the Community of Democracies should create and fund a permanent secretariat to carry on its work between ministerial meetings. The secretariat should be charged with establishing a transparent peer review mechanism, monitoring country developments, devising collective responses to threats to democracy, tracking best practices and lessons learned, and coordinating ministerial conference preparations.

Linking Development Assistance to Democracy
Democratic states should increase their bilateral development assistance to governments participating in the Community of Democracies process. In addition, members of the Community of Democracies should receive preferential treatment in multilateral assistance strategies, debt relief and trade privileges, and work together to democratize international financial and trade institutions.

One of the greatest threats to democracy is the prevalence of poverty and inequality. As observed in the United Nations Development Program¡¦s Human Development Report for 2002, ¡§Advancing human development requires governance that is democratic in both form and substance.¡¨ To make development aid more effective, government-to-government development assistance should be confined to members and candidate members of the Community of Democracies. In other countries, development aid should be channeled only through nongovernmental institutions, or spent under the direct supervision of the donors, except in certain circumstances of humanitarian emergency.

Democratic governments should also use their voting power at international financial and trade institutions (IFTIs) to make them more transparent, more inclusive of civil society participation, and more responsive to the needs of emerging democracies. Members and candidate members should be given preference for multilateral development bank loans, debt relief and trade privileges. Donor strategies should also embrace increased spending and attention on democracy-building programs and policies, including democratic political party development, free media and citizen participation.


Creating a Democracy Caucuses

Democratic governments that belong to the Community of Democracies should act collectively to promote democratic values, the rule of law and sustainable development. To that end, they should organize their own caucuses at the United Nations and regional organizations.

The world¡¦s democracies have a common interest in ensuring that the United Nations and regional organizations reflect their shared democratic values. Members of the Community of Democracies must support each other when electing candidates for key international positions, particularly those relating to democracy and human rights, such as the UN Human Rights Commission.

* Chile, Czech Republic, India, Republic of Korea, Mali, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, South Africa and the United States.

 

SIGNED (list in formation)

 

Larry Diamond

Pavol Demes

United States

Slovakia

 

 

Bronislaw Geremek

George Soros

Poland

United States

 

 

Emma Bonino

Margaret Crahan

Italy

United States

 

 

Genaro Arriagada

Hadi Soesastro

Chile

Indonesia

 

 

Morton Halperin

Orville Schell

United States

United States

 

 

Madeleine Albright

Rashid Hajili

United States

Azerbaijan

 

 

Adam Habib

Vira Nanivska

South Africa

Ukraine

 

 

Meddeb Henda

Tomas Pojar

Tunisia

Czech Republic

 

 

John Richardson

Heather Hamilton

United States

United States

 

 

Salah Aziz

Walter Raymond

Kurdistan-Iraq/USA

United States

 

 

Leyla Yunus

John Talbott

Azerbaijan

United States

 

 

Kassie Neov

Hussain Shaban

Cambodia

Iraq ¡V London

 

 

Robert LaGamma

Enrique Zileri

United States

Peru

 

 

Charles Sampford

Nizam Assaf

Australia

Jordan

 

 

Penelope Faulkner

Vo Van Ai

Vietnam

Vietnam

 

 

Gibson Sibanda

Jana Chrzova

Zimbabwe

Czech Republic

 

 

Marcelo Varela

Silvia Alonso

Costa Rica

Mexico

 

 

Rafael Roncagliolo

Talib Yakubov

Peru

Uzbekistan

 

 

Carl Gershman

Aleksander Smolar

United States

Poland

 

 

Edil Baisalov

Jiri Rasanen

Kyrgyzstan

Finland

 

 

Achour Moncef

Adamou Ndam Njoya

Tunisia

Cameroon

 

 

Sulev Valdmaa

Hakan Altinay

Estonia

Turkey

 

 

George Mathew

Heiner Hanggi

India

Switzerland

 

 

Yevgeny Zhovtis

Albert Musliu

Kazakhstan

Macedonia

 

 

Bette Bao Lord

Can Paker

United States

Turkey

 

 

Lionel Delatour

Pande Lazarevski

Haiti

Macedonia

 

 

Dogu Ergil

Marcelino Miyares

Turkey

Cuba/USA

 

 

Xia Yeliang

Gautam Adhikari

China

India

 

 

Almerindo Jaka Jamba

Roel von Meijenfeldt

Angola

The Netherlands

 

 

Veton Surroi

Veselin Vukotic

Kosova

Montenegro

 

 

Sam Rainsy

Nina Belyaeva

Cambodia

Russia

 

 

Sihem Bensedrine

Vera Stemskovskaya

Tunisia

Belarus

 

 

Ro Ding

Christine Loh

Burma

Hong Kong, China

 

 

Marek Kapusta

Valeria Merino

Slovakia

Ecuador

 

 

Hryhoriy Nemyria

Tomas Pojar

Ukraine

Czech Republic

 

 

Ntomb¡¦futhi Masinga

Robert Herman

South Africa

United States

 

 

Achour Moucef

Yuri Dzhibladze

Tunisia

Russia

 

 

George Folsom

Rashid Hagili

United States

Azerbaijan

 

 

Claudia Caldeirinha

Alexander Lomaia

Portugal

Georgia

 

 

Elizabeth Frawley Bagley

Harold Koh

United States

United States

 

 

Inna Pidluska

Jennifer Windsor

Ukraine

United States

 


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