STATEMENT OF THE WORLD MOVEMENT STEERING COMMTTEE IN SUPPORT OF PROPOSED RESOLUTION OF COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES ON RESTRICTIVE NGO LAWS
The Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy, a global network of democracy activists, practitioners, scholars, and others engaged in the advancement of democracy worldwide, urges the ministerial representatives of the member countries of the Community of Democracies (also known as the UN Democracy Caucus) meeting in New York in September 2006 to adopt the following Resolution as proposed by the Nongovernmental International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies:
Recognizing that the Community of Democracies in its founding Warsaw Declaration affirmed its “determination to work together to promote and strengthen democracy,” thereby acknowledging democracy promotion as an international norm:
We express our concern over the growing number of countries that have enacted or introduced legislation designed to restrict the democracy promotion efforts of nongovernmental organizations, and toward that end we call on all participants in the Community of Democracies to uphold the right of governments and nongovernmental organizations to provide material and technical assistance to support NGO efforts to promote and consolidate democracy. We express concern over efforts to suppress democracy promotion activities.
We request that such efforts to repress democracy promotion activity should cease and that any existing legal restrictions toward that end be repealed.
We further call on the members of the Community of Democracies to affirm in the strongest possible terms the rights of nongovernmental organizations to promote democracy in support of the rights defined in the Warsaw Declaration. Countries engaged in activities in violation of these rights and these internationally accepted norms should be excluded from participation in the Community of Democracies.
The Steering Committee of the World Movement for Democracy joins the Nongovernmental International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies in expressing its hope that the Convening Group of the Community of Democracies will recommend the adoption of this Resolution by the UN Democracy Caucus, and that the UN Democracy Caucus will fully accept the recommendation to do so.
June 7, 2006
Editor’s Note: Singapore, together with countries like Azerbaijan, Egypt, Gambia, Haiti, Yemen, etc. are excluded from membership in the Community of Democracies. Even Malaysia is a member.