NGO Process Global Issues Group

NGO Secretariat Issues Final Report of CD Santiago NGO Process

Based on the final meeting of the Community of Democracies Santiago NGO Process, the Executive Secretariat has issued a final report to all governments invited to the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies. This document brings together the recommendations and proposals discussed at the final NGO meeting held in Santiago on 3-4 March 2005. The document first presents global proposals that address the overarching themes of international cooperation, political systems, corruption and accountability, civil society, and human security. The second set of proposals are based on the regional workshops held at the final NGO meeting as well as regional meetings that took place in the year preceding the 3rd Ministerial. For more information, please visit the official website of the NGO Secretariat.

NGO Process Global Issues Group

In an effort both to advise the governments of the Community of Democracies and also to strengthen the Community of Democracies process by making it more transparent and democratic, the Executive Secretariat organized a working group of non-state actors to think critically about the governmental process and develop proposals for increasing its effectiveness.

The group includes representatives from: the Democracy Coalition Project, the Council for a Community of Democracies, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, the Institute of Multi-Party Democracy, and the Executive Secretariat.

The group focuses on the following issues:

a)Strengthening the Democracy Caucus in the United Nations
b)Criteria for the governmental invitation process
c)Democratization of the Convening group (e.g. mechanisms of rotation, participation, transparency of decision-making, etc)
d)Formalize participation of civil society actors in Community of Democracies process, especially regarding the format of the Ministerial meeting.

The Global Issues Group based its discussion on a paper prepared by the Democracy Coalition Project with contributions and endorsements from Westminster Foundation, Institute for Multiparty Democracy and Council for a Community of Democracies.

Democracy Coalition Project

Over 100 governments participated in a landmark international political event in Warsaw, Poland in June 2000. In an effort to further consolidate their commitment to democratic principles, they agreed to endorse the Warsaw Declaration, which commits them to build a Community of Democracies as an association of democratic states dedicated to strengthening democratic values and institutions at home and abroad. Complementing the biennial ministerial gathering was a parallel nongovernmental meeting of leading democracy activists and thinkers from around the world. A Convening Group made up of Chile, the Czech Republic, India, Mali, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the United States organized a second ministerial meeting in Seoul, Korea in November 2002 and adopted the Soeul Plan of Action to deepen and sustain the commitments made in Warsaw; a parallel forum of civil society leaders was also convened in Seoul.

In the months leading up to the Second Ministerial, the Democracy Coalition Project worked with the civil society actors and convening group governments to assess which governments should be invited as full participants, which governments should be invited as observers and which governments should not be invited. The invitation list can be accessed by clicking here. To see a comparison of invitees between the the First Ministerial in Warsaw and the Second Ministerial in Seoul, click here.

The Democracy Coalition Project (DCP) seeks to monitor CD governments’ implementation of the Warsaw Declaration and Seoul Plan of Action through an assortment of ongoing activities. These include contributing to the Community of Democracies Ministerial Process in advance of the 2005 and 2002 meetings; actively participating in the parallel nongovernmental process; and pressing Convening Group countries to uphold criteria for participation in the Community of Democracies. DCP is also working to make the Community of Democracies a viable instrument for governments to promote democracy at home and through the institutions to which they belong, through means such as the Democracy Caucus at the United Nations and other intergovernmental institutions.