Mongolia to Host 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies
April 24, 2013
As Mongolia makes final preparations to host the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies from April 27-29, 2013, an air of excitement and buzz is palpable here in the capital, Ulaanbaatar. Among the hundreds of high-level delegates from the government, civil society, and the media attending – both from abroad and from Mongolia – Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as Yemen’s Tawakoll Karman are also expected.
The Community of Democracies is a global intergovernmental coalition of over 100 democratic countries, with the goal of promoting democratic rules and strengthening democratic norms and institutions around the world. The Community was initiated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland, Professor Bronislaw Geremek, and former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, inviting all democratic countries to the inaugural conference in Warsaw hosted by Poland in June 2000. The Governing Council is the highest decision-making body and presently consists of 24 member countries including the United States and Mongolia.
The Community of Democracies aims to be a global platform for democratic countries, who together with civil society and parliamentarians seek to strengthen democracy both at the national level and in the international system. Its mission is to support democratic transition and consolidation worldwide and help bridge the gap between principles and practice of democracy and human rights.
Mongolia has been holding the Presidency of the Community of Democracies since July 2011. As a country that has successfully mastered the process of democratization while undergoing simultaneous political, social, and economic transformation, Mongolia serves as an example for other countries aspiring to achieve democracy in a peaceful manner. During its two-year presidential term which will end in June this year, Mongolia has focused on promoting education for democracy, strengthening regional cooperation, fostering collaboration with civil society, advancing women’s empowerment, and countering corruption. In July 2013, El Salvador will assume the Presidency of the Community of Democracies.
The 7th Ministerial Conference will consist of plenary sessions on topics such as Harnessing Open Governance for Democracy and Supporting Democratic Transition, as well as parallel sessions of five specific fora: Women’s Forum, Parliamentary Forum, Civil Society Forum, Corporate Forum and Youth Forum. At the end of the conference, a resolution on the outcomes of the various plenary sessions and fora is expected to be adopted.
Through the “Supporting Mongolia’s Presidency of the Community of Democracies Project,” funded by USAID, the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, and the Embassy of the United States in Mongolia, The Asia Foundation has been working to support the Mongolian Secretariat of the Community of Democracies. Last year, in partnership with the Presidency of the Community of Democracies, the Foundation together with the Zorig Foundation and MonAme Scientific Research Center organized the International Women’s Leadership Forum on July 7-9, 2012. The forum brought together over 100 participants, including former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to discuss ways to promote women’s entrepreneurship, access to natural resources, and leadership in the private sector. This year, through the generous support of its U.S. donors, the Foundation is supporting both the Women’s Forum and Parliamentary Forum and is also providing assistance on public outreach to inform citizens about the Community of Democracies in Mongolia. Stay tuned next week for further analysis and coverage of the event.
Tirza Theunissen is The Asia Foundation’s program and operations manager and Chinkhand Dorj is the communication and outreach officer in Mongolia. They can be respectively reached at [email protected] and [email protected]. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and not those of The Asia Foundation.
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