COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to affect countries across the world, having significant impact on all aspects of people’s lives and stretching the capacity of our democracies.

In these difficult times, international solidarity and continued cooperation among governments, civil society, private sector and academia are more necessary than ever.

As the CoD has recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its founding document, the Warsaw Declaration (June 27, 2020),  Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett  highlighted that democracies must respond to current pandemic through renewed adherence to the 19 principles of the Warsaw Declaration. I believe this global crisis will allow democracy, with its openness and accountability, to show it is the political system best suited to protect citizens’ health, while ensuring protection of the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms’ he said.

Working with its Member States and civil society partners, the  Community of Democracies is looking across the world, to every region, for how democracy is responding to COVID-19.

The digital events and other activities carried out recently by the Community of Democracies discussed the impact of COVID-19 on democracies in different areas. Below is a summary of the most recent activities (September, October, 2020) on COVID-19 and democracy.

Safeguarding Democracy and Countering Malign Foreign Influence

This two-day digital event and included two panel discussions: Countering Malign Foreign Influence Aimed at Undermining Democratic Institutions and Norms; and Media Freedom and Fact-based Reporting as Key to Safeguarding against Disinformation- both of which also discussed the subject of disinformation during COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch here: Panel 1 and Panel 2

Conversation with Michelle Bekkering, Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment , United States Agency for International Development

Hosted by Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett, the event focused on women’s economic empowerment and how women are key drivers of the economic recovery from COVID-19.

Watch here 


Enabling Democratic Governance through Technology

Technology and digitalization have a major role to play in strengthening democracy, and the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated some key technology trends.

With participation of representatives of governments, private sector, and civil society, the event examined multilateral mechanisms to exchange best practices and ideas with respect to technology’s use which supports democratic governance. The discussion also looked at technological tools that enable participation in democratic governance and how they can be maximized through accountability and transparency measures.
Watch the event here 


Women’s Leadership in Times of Crisis

With participation of high-level female speakers, this digital event discussed the importance of women’s political participation and involvement in decision-making during the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery efforts.
Click here to watch

Secretary General joined the #DigitalDecade event organized by New America

SG Thomas E. Garrett joined the New America’s #DigitalDecade event, which discussed how governments can better respond to the unprecedented demand for digital services during the pandemic.

Click here to read SG’s remarks 

Guidance for Governing Council members of the Community of Democracies on the protection of civic space in the battle against COVID-19

The Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society is monitoring the impact on civic space of measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to download the Working Group’s Guidance for the CoD Governing Council Member States on the protection of civil space in the battle against COVID-19. 


The Warsaw Declaration Values will Enable Democratic Nations to Emerge Strengthened from the Pandemic

Statement on International Day of Democracy by the Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett

Click here to download