Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland in English
The seventh Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy conference started yesterday in Warsaw. This time, the forum is devoted to the opportunities and threats posed by new technologies in democratic societies. It is an opportunity for human rights defenders, experts in democracy and representatives of public institutions from all over the world to exchange views and experiences. The annual conference, which monitors the evolution of transformation processes, the fruit of which are further recommendations for international entities dealing with this subject, is not Poland’s only form of activity that promotes democratic values. Assistance in this area to partner countries is one of Poland’s development cooperation priorities implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Supporting democracy and human rights is one of the objectives of the “Multiannual development cooperation program for 2016-2020.” This priority is based on the conviction that without a well-functioning state that respects democratic standards and human rights, long-term development and real improvement of the life of individuals is not possible. Recognising that democracy is the system that best satisfies social, cultural and economic needs of people and creates conditions for sustainable economic growth, Poland provides assistance based on democratic values, thanks to which it offers a multi-faceted response to the complex needs of the societies it supports. This help is part of efforts made by the international community aimed at helping the weakest – the poor, marginalised and the dispossessed.
Strength of the majority
International and regional organisations are important partners of Poland in this area. Poland is an active member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the United Nations and its specialised agencies. Within these organisations, Poland undertakes initiatives that build and develop civil societies, develop local dialogues and democracies, and strengthen independent media and organisations that uphold human rights.
One of them is the Community of Democracies initiated by former Polish foreign minister Prof. Bronisław Geremek and US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, established during an international conference in Warsaw in 2000. The aim of the coalition of over one hundred states is to promote democratic principles and strengthen democratic norms and institutions in the world. The first group convening the Conference of Ministers, the most important Community event, at which foreign ministers meet, included: Czech Republic, India, South Korea, Mali, Poland and the United States. The conference is organised once every two years, and the government of the host country sends out invitations after the approval of guests by the Convening Group. States wishing to participate in the conference must meet certain criteria, including respecting democratic procedures and the rule of law or maintaining a multi-party system. Countries that are on the way to a democratic system take part in the conference as observers.