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  • Warszawski Dialog na rzecz Demokracji

     

  • AKTUALNOŚCI

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    Recommendations of the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy 2014

    23-25 October 2014

     

    Having taken part in the third edition of the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy, held in Warsaw between the 23rd and 25th of October 2014 and having participated in four separate thematic panels i.e.: 1) Democracy in theory and practice - Towards 15 years of the Warsaw Declaration; 2) Women Leaders: advancing women’s leadership; 3) Commissions of Truth and Institutes of Memory: models of coming to terms with dictatorial past. Experience and expectations; 4) Shrinking space for international support to civil society, the panelists and participants identified the following recommendations to be presented to the international community with a view to strengthening democracy worldwide:

     

    1. Promote full respect for human rights, partnership, solidarity, inclusiveness and participation in public affairs.
    2. Enhance efforts to reverse the current trend of democracy deterioration particularly with reference to shrinking space for civil society activities. Shrinking space for CSO and international support is a growing phenomenon across the world requiring immediate and concerted actions. Anti-NGO legislation and state institutions practices limiting CSO access to international support adopted by many countries needs to be reverted and abandoned.
    3. Promote development of a diverse, independent and vibrant civil society. Ensure civil society participation in democratic processes and public affairs. Sustainable democracy is a product of a strong civil society and sustainability of changes depends on citizens’ participation. CSOs play a vital role in sparking change. CSO participation should be guaranteed in legislative processes, both at national and international level.
    4. Guarantee full respect of the freedom of expression, association and assembly.
    5. Favor non-violent struggle for democracy and freedom. One of the lessons learnt from the Polish transition suggests the supremacy of non-violent solutions while striving for democratic change. They create an environment conducive to reconciliation and stability.
    6. Promote full participation and inclusion of women in democratic processes. Democratic governance cannot be fully achieved without women’s involvement. As it could be witnessed in the course of recent democratic transitions women’s leadership is vital for sustainability of change. Women are pioneering in development, economy and politics and their participation can unlock a great potential.
    7. Ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment. Gender imbalance in decision-making is a challenge which needs to be overcome. More women should have the opportunity to be elected, to vote and to participate in public life. One of the solutions is the electoral quota system which can help increase representation of women in decision-making processes around the world.
    8. Ensure that sexual rights are recognized and respected for all individuals regardless of their gender and religion. Despite the fact that women’s sexual rights as expressed in the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action of the IV World Conference on Women and the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development are essential to human integrity, they are often denied in transitional societies.
    9. Promote the process of transitional justice as it is essential for restoring trust in state and public institutions. Reconciliation and truth are two complementary and interlinked processes of successful transformation. They do not depend on the previous systems and the way changes were conducted It is impossible to build future democracy while forgetting the past. In transition processes justice is a key element but it shouldn’t be mistaken with punishing.
    10. Ensure that perpetrators are hold accountable. The process of transitional justice is a difficult one because of the lack of evidence, negotiable character of changes and fears of inflaming recently ended conflict. Whatever model of reconciliation is adopted it should depend on the conditions of each country’s negotiations, which should include broad consultations.
    11. Enhance the potential offered by social media tools. Democracy and transformation can largely benefit from new technologies. Sustainability of change is a multigenerational task. Thus, using Internet and social media can significantly result in youth participation in democratic processes. However, we cannot overestimate the power of social media and substitute a struggle for an on-line activity.
    12. Ensure flexibility of democracy support mechanisms and adjust new strategic approaches to changing realities. Shift from state-centered approach to society-centered and respect country-specific situations. Recent changes need to be reflected in donors assistance to democracy as duplicating old procedures seems to be counter-productive. It is essential to offer assistance in the form of core-funding and address support also to institutions functioning in exile.
    13. Promote cooperation not only between CSOs and international institutions but also among CSOs at country level. Put emphasis on coherence of international support. Overlap of the work of states, international organizations and local NGOs should be avoided at every level. Effectiveness of change depends also on the level of cooperation and coordination among grassroots organizations.

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