Statement by the Secretary General Thomas E. Garrett on the 24th Anniversary of the Warsaw Declaration and the Community of Democracies


Today, I am privileged to stand with Member States and friends of the Community of Democracies (CoD) in celebrating 24 years of the Warsaw Declaration. This significant milestone is a testament to the more than 100 countries that convened in Warsaw for the founding conference of the Community of Democracies in 2000. Their commitment to collaborate and fortify democratic processes and institutions, and to champion democracy globally, has not only steered the Community’s work but also illuminated the path for countries early on their democratic journey and set a standard for established democracies.

The multilateral endeavor to promote and safeguard democratic principles is not solely the responsibility of the Community of Democracies, but a shared duty. Strengthening adherence to the principles of the Warsaw Declaration in countries within and outside of the Community of Democracies is a pivotal objective, as outlined in the recently published Strategic Plan for 2024-2028.

Dialogue and experience sharing are the cornerstones of democracy promotion. Providing a platform for inclusive dialogue on issues impacting democracies worldwide is at the forefront of the CoD’s work to strengthen democratic institutions and promote democratic principles. This crucial work is made possible by the invaluable contributions and input from the Governing Council, Civil Society Pillar, and CoD YouthLeads, whose dedication and efforts are deeply appreciated and recognized.

The 38th Governing Council meeting in Warsaw earlier this month featured important discussions on topics including advancing youth political participation and strengthening collaboration on information integrity. Most recently, a joint event of the CoD and the National Defense Committee of the Senate of Poland spoke to the importance of democracy as a pillar of security.

Democracies face a range of external and internal pressures. Advancing freedom and democracy is never a finished project. More vital collaboration on global democratic renewal and shared efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and promote democratic values of the Warsaw Declaration remain essential to address these challenges.