Secretary General’s Remarks to the Organization of American States Permanent Council
May 22 2019, Washington D.C.
The Secretary General (SG) spoke today to the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council on the subject of democratic solidarity and resilience. He noted the activities the Community of Democracies (CoD) and the OAS had conducted over the years, including meetings with civil society activists from closed political systems and participation by both intergovernmental bodies in the ongoing Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy.
The SG mentioned new challenges to democracy, such as growing migrant flows and extraconstitutional attempts to extend power beyond accepted limits, but also spoke of opportunities to support democracy. He described the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed last year between the OAS and CoD as a very important step towards enhancing joint efforts to promote and strengthen democratic values and institutions at the regional and global level.
The SG said the Community of Democracies differed from other intergovernmental groupings in that it was built not on linguistic, geographical or economic criteria but on commitment to universal values of democracy, to the Warsaw Declaration. In his remarks, he highlighted the OAS Inter-American Democratic Charter and the Warsaw Declaration, presenting both as road maps to tackle challenges and promote democratic values and fundamental freedoms.
The SG was joined by Poland’s Ambassador to the United States, Piotr Wilczek, who represented the current Chair of the CoD’s Executive Committee.