Under Secretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman today stressed that civil society remains an integral part of Community of Democracies.
At the inaugural meeting of the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies, Ms. Sherman highlighted that one of the organization’s greatest strengths is its ability to provide a platform for working with – and strengthening – civil society.
“The Community’s working group on defending civil society offers a case study in how partnerships between governments and civil society can yield outstanding results. As we work to establish the Community’s identity as an international organization, a strong role for civil society should be one of its defining features.” -Ms. Sherman
Ms. Sherman stressed that the inaugural meeting of the Governing Council represents the culmination of a long effort to revitalize the Community of Democracies. She said the United States and Secretary Clinton personally have been committed to that process.
“The Community has been transformed from a forum for democracies to get together into a platform for democracies to get things done. And that transformation couldn’t have come at a better time.” -Ms. Sherman
She noted that the presence of Tunisia’s Foreign Minister at the meeting is a reminder that the world is in the midst of the most significant wave of democratization since the founding of the organization in 2000.
She highlighted that in the season of democratic change, the Community’s success will be measured in large part by its ability to support the transitions underway in the world’s emerging democracies.
“Every nation at this meeting – including the United States – has had help in its transition. And as nations embark on the journey that is democracy, we have an opportunity – and an obligation – to be partners on that pathway. As Secretary Clinton said in Vilnius, “all of us here in this Community of Democracies have a stake in supporting them and a responsibility to help. We see our own stories in theirs.” -Ms. Sherman