News Release

Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett traveled to Kyiv to discuss Ukraine’s role in today’s frontlines of democracy

Warsaw, July 6, 2023- Ahead of the tragic anniversary of 500 days since Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine, the Secretary General of the Community of Democracies (CoD), Thomas E. Garrett, visited Kyiv on 3-7 July 2023 to meet with government, elected officials, youth, civil society, and the media to discuss Ukraine’s role in today’s frontline of democracy.

“Five hundred days of an unjustified war on Ukraine presents an inflection point for the world’s democracies to recommit to support Ukraine and begin paving the way towards strengthening Ukraine’s presence within the democratic community.  My visit to Kyiv is an opportunity to speak to different stakeholders to understand needs and discuss Ukraine’s engagement with the Community of Democracies. The Community of Democracies will continue to stand with Ukraine and support its independence, sovereignty, and democracy,” said SG Garrett.

The Secretary General’s agenda included, among other, meetings with Deputy Foreign Minister Andriy Melnyk, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament Oleksandr Korniyenko , the mayor of Kyiv, Vitaliy Klitschko, Nobel Laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk, officials in the Ministry of Youth and Sport, media, and CoD YouthLead for Ukraine Anna Bondarenko.

Ukraine is among 106 nations that adopted the CoD’s founding document, the Warsaw Declaration, in 2000, and the CoD has been engaging with the Ukrainian government, parliament, and civil society over the past decade. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Member States of the CoD Governing Council issued numerous statements in solidarity with Ukraine and supported Ukraine through national and multilateral mechanisms.

About the Community of Democracies and the Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett

The Community of Democracies is an intergovernmental coalition of democratic countries which work together to promote, defend, and strengthen democracy.  Currently led by Canada, the CoD draws its Governing Council membership from across the world.

Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett leads the Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies in Warsaw. Before joining the CoD in 2017, he worked with an American democracy support NGO, the International Republican Institute, including as chief of party in Kyiv from 1994 to 2000, overseeing programs supporting Ukraine’s democratic reforms.

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