Secretary General’s travel to New York and Washington D.C. on September 24-28, 2018

September 24

Face-to-face meeting with the International Steering Committee, Washington, D.C.

The International Steering Committee (ISC) of the Community of Democracies’ Civil Society Pillar and the SecretaryGeneral (SG) discussed opportunities for continued dialogue and areas of collaboration in the framework of the new Strategic Plan.

Participants: Thomas E. GarrettSecretary Generalof the Community of Democracies (CoD), Patricia Galdamez, Senior Advisor of the Community of Democracies, Paulina Ibarra, ISC Chair, Fundación MultitudesMorton Halperin, Senior Advisor of Open Society Foundation, Robert Herman, Senior Advisor for Policy at Freedom House, Doug Rutzen, President, ICNL

September 25

Side-Event on “The Role of Youth in Democratic Resilience”, New York

The event hosted by Governing Council Member State Romania on the margins of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly included the participation of young leaders from Syria, El Salvador and Romania. Discussion was built around the newly launched UN strategy “Youth 2030: Working With and For Young People”, which recognizes youth as agents of change in the promotion of peace and security.

Best practices in youth engagement and democratic participation were shared, notably Canada’s Youth Council, the establishment of Youth Parliaments and legislation which promotes the engagement of youth, such as the new Youth Law in the Republic of Moldova.

Speakers: Rajaa AltaliCo- Founder and Co-Director of the Center for Civil Society and Democracy, John T. WrightFormer member of Parliament; Founder and President of “Nuestro Tiempo”, a Salvadorian political party, Valentin Florea, Secretary General of UN Youth Association of Romania.

Moderator: Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies

September 26

Inter-regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD): “Sustainable Democracy and SDG16: Path towards achieving Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”, New York

The Secretary General participated in the 7th High Level meeting of the IRDD, with the purpose of exchanging experiences at the regional level, with special focus on advancing SDG16.

The year 2019 will be a turning point in the review of the implementation of the political agenda, with two significant events: the High Level Political Forum in July and the General Assembly in September.

Joint Side-Event: “The Value of International and Regional Democratic Instruments for Sustainable Democracies”, New York

The panel discussion servedas an opportunity toencourage further dialogue on the importance of international and regional instruments, specifically the Community of Democracies’ Warsaw Declaration and the Inter-American Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States, both essential elements for the promotion, protection and sustainability of democracies.Additionally, the discussion followed a round of speakers’ interventions in relation to the current state of democracy in the world, with specific case studies from the Western hemisphere.

Participants: Thomas E. Garrett,Secretary General of the Community of Democracies,Yves Leterme, Secretary General of International IDEA,Cristelle Pratt, Deputy Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Maged Abdelfattah Abdelaziz, Permanent Observer of the League of Arab States to the UN, Max Gilbert, Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development for the Council of Europe, Gonzalo Koncke, Chief of Staff to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Teresa Whitfield,Director of Policy and Mediation, UN

September 28

Signing of Memorandum of Understanding with the OAS, Washington D.C.

The Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies and the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (GS/ OAS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their cooperation for the promotion and consolidation of democracy. Areas of cooperation include: developing initiatives focused on the critical link between democracy and development, promoting inclusive participation in democratic processes and supporting initiatives focused on the protection of civic space.

Signatories: Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies, Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS).