Who we work with

Civil Society Pillar

Civil society is an integral part of democracy and the Community of Democracies has long made support for nongovernmental actors who represent the interests of citizens an important priority of its work around the world.

Civil society is represented at the Governing Council by the International Steering Committee (ISC)–  an independent, representative body elected by the Civil Society Assembly to provide advice to the Community of Democracies.It develops its own strategies and activities to promote civic space, proposes areas for consideration, and expresses the view of civil society during Governing Council deliberations.

The participation of the civil society is a unique asset to the Community and one of its key strengths.  The ISC is composed of 26 civil society organizations, including global, regional and national level organizations. Since September 2022, the ISC is currently chaired by Enrique de Obarrio of REDLAD Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy


In March 2016, the Governing Council adopted Civil Society Standards, a document which lays out a series of steps that the democratic governments that comprise the Community will take to support and protect civil society. Civil Society Standards are available in six language versions.

CoD Youth Leads 

Youth engagement in public life is an important element of sustainable democracies. The CoD YouthLeads is an informal, voluntary group of young pro-democracy advocates advising the CoD on effective practices, strategies, and actions to enhance youth engagement in democracies worldwide. Read more