The Woodrow Wilson Center and the Council for a Community of Democracies held two seminars in May 2000 which explored issues to be covered in the forthcoming Community of Democracies Ministerial in Warsaw, on 26-27 June 2000.
The first seminar, which took place on May 2, 2000, included an introduction to the Warsaw Ministerial and the concurrent Freedom House-sponsored World Forum on Democracy. The theme for the 2 May seminar was: Cooperation among Democratic Governments to Strengthen Global, Regional, and Specialized International Initiatives and Institutions.
The meeting was chaired by former Congressman Lee Hamilton, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center. The discussants were Harold Koh, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Robert Hunter, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO, and Paula Dobriansky, Vice President and Washington Director of the Council on Foreign Relations. The meeting addressed:
- How can democracies work together more effectively?
- What strategies exist or could be developed to achieve a community of democracies?
- How can the democracies collaborate to make their own joint actions as well as those of international organizations more effective, transparent and democratic?
- What new organizational structures (national, regional and global) are needed to meet the challenges of the 21st Century?
- What steps can be taken to insure that activities of international organizations advance the rule of law envisioned under the U.N. Charter and the freedoms set out in the Declaration of Human Rights?
The theme of the second seminar, which took place on May 10, 2000, was Responding to Threats to Democracy. The meeting was chaired by John Richardson, President of the Council for a Community of Democracies. The discussants included Morton Halperin, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Department of State, Mark Palmer, Former Ambassador to Hungary, Vice-Chairman, Freedom House, and Richard Solomon, President, United States Institute of Peace. The meeting addressed:
- What are the most pressing problems and threats to democratic, constitutional government?
- What mechanisms and understandings currently exist under which democratic governments can (a) come to the support of elected governments that are in danger of being illegally overthrown or (b) encourage and assist governments moving toward democratic governments?
- How can these mechanisms (international, regional, or selective such as the G 7/8 , be improved?
- What is the relative role for integrated actions or actions by an informal caucus of the community of democracies as opposed to unilateral actions by democratic parties?
- What is the role for NGOs in advancing global democratic governance?