The Final Meeting for the Non-Governmental Process was held on March 3rd and 4th, 2005, in Santiago, Chile. Around 80 people from 34 countries attended the meeting to discuss the proposals to prepare the Non-Governmental contribution to the third Ministerial Meeting of the Community of Democracies, which will be held on April 28th-30th, 2005.
The objectives of the Final Meeting were to:
1. Present the Community of Democracies Governmental and Non-Governmental Process.
2. Present and discuss proposals that addressed the common democratic issues across all the regions.
3. Refine and formalize proposals on those common issues.
4. Define what issues and which proposals will be emphasized in each region in preparation for the Ministerial Meeting.
5. Define issues and proposals to improve the CD process itself.
6. Agree on an outreach and advocacy strategy leading up to the Ministerial Meeting in Santiago.
The Meeting's participants were representatives of NGO's, Political Parties, Political Foundations, Think-Tanks, Universities, and International Institutions, in all six regions. The majority of these participants had been involved in the Regional Workshops for the Non-Governmental Process and they were asked to finalize the proposals that will be put forward to governments in light of the discussions in their respective regions.
The Opening Ceremony (click here to see the Meeting Agenda; click here for the Introductory Speech) was held at 9:00 am on March 3rd in the auditorium of the Telefonica Building and was conducted by Genaro Arriagada, President of the Executive Secretariat, Andrea Sanhueza, Executive Secretary of the Executive Secretariat. The Meeting was then officially inaugurated by Ignacio Walker, the Foreign Minister of Chile. The Inaugural Panel, entitled "Promoting and Strengthening Democracy at the International Level," brought together José Goñi (Chile), from the The Socialist International, Gutemberg Martínez (Chile), from Christian Democrat Organization of America, Morton Halperin (USA), from the Open Society Institute and Soros Foundation, Roel von Meijenfeldt (the Netherlands) from the Institute for Multiparty Democracy, and was moderated by Jennifer Windsor (USA) from Freedom House.
The meeting was divided into both plenary sessions and regional working groups. The plenary sessions were dedicated to the discussion of the common democratic issues that were identified in many of the regional workshops. The common issues were:
1. Political Systems
2. Corruption, transparency and accountability
3. Civil Society
4. National Security
5. International Community and Promotion of Democracy
There were eight plenary sessions over the course of the two days. In the first plenary session, Marcelo Diaz, from the Chilean Chancellery, and Andrea Sanhueza provided an overview of the Governmental and Non-Governmental processes, respectively, the strengths of each process, and challenges that they face. The second plenary session was moderated by Genaro Arriagada and featured Ted Piccone (USA), from the Democracy Coalition Project, who presented the recent paper from the Global Issues Group that contains proposals focused on the Community of Democracies process itself.
The discussion then moved to the common issues, with a panel on Political Systems that was moderated by Patricia Valenzuela (Argentina) from the Partido Justicialista, and featured Kababsubabo Katulondi (Republic of Congo) from the RCD/DRC, Matteo Meccaci (Italy) from the Transnational Radical Party, and Arturo Valenzuela (Chile) from Georgetown University. The panelists in the four plenary sessions on the common democratic issues were asked to comment on the proposals from every region that related to their issue.
After a coffee break, Debbie Stothard (Malaysia) from the Alternative Asian Network on Burma, Pedro Mujica (Chile) from PARTICIPA, and Roberts Putnis (Latvia) from Transparency International, all presented on a panel on Corruption, Transparency, and Accountability. The panel was moderated by Augusto Miclat (Phillipines) from Initiatives for International Dialogue.
The second day of the conference began with a plenary session about Civil Society during which Raj Liberhan (India) from the CITI Foundation, Yuri Dzhibladze (Russia) from the Center for the Development of Democracy and Human Rights, and Gonzalo de la Maza (Chile) from Más Voces. The third plenary session focused on National Security issues that were discussed in the regions and was moderated by David Carroll (USA) from the Carter Center. The panelists were: Michael Kau (Taiwan) from the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, Sadikou Ayo Alao (Benin) from Gerddes-Africa, and Abdel Basset Ben Hassen (Tunisia) from the Arab Institute for Human Rights.
The second part of the day began with Andrea Sanhueza, who gave a brief update about the next Ministerial Meeting in Santiago and explained potential advocacy strategies that might be useful in the different regions in the time leading up to the April meeting. She was joined by Enkhsaikahan Jargalsaikhan (Mongolia) from the Movement for New and Restored Democracies, who spoke about the interlikages between UN Conference for New and Restored Democracies and the Community of Democracies. After that, participants broke into regional groups to refine their regional proposals, start defining regional advocacy strategies, reach a consensus on the issues that ought to be presented at the Ministerial Meeting, and to nominate representatives from the region that should participate in the Ministerial.
The results of these working groups were shared in the last plenary session of the meeting, and the meeting was closed with a few brief remarks from the Executive Secretariat.
This report was drafted by Participa.