Community of Democracies: Broadening a Global Coalition for the Protection of Universal Freedoms

July 1, 2011

I have just returned from Vilnius, Lithuania, where I joined Secretary Hillary Clinton in a productive and engaging sixth ministerial conference of the Community of Democracies. Since its establishment in 2000, the Community of Democracies has worked to promote democracy and strengthen democratic norms and institutions in all regions of the world through partnerships between governments and civil society. U.S. government participation in this forum reflects our deep commitment to promoting democracy worldwide and broadening a global coalition for the protections of universal freedoms.

Because this is a time when popular movements for democracy are reshaping the geopolitical landscape of countries, it is an opportunity to drive home the importance of the role of civil society in advancing democracies. Secretary Clinton spoke about this in her speech to the Community of Democracies in Krakow last July during which she outlined an ambitious agenda to defend civil society around the world.

In support of this agenda, I convened in Vilnius the first meeting of the Human Rights and Democracy Working Group, organized as a part of the Secretary's Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, to initiate a discussion with civil society on the issues they face and how the Department of State can help them to create a more open environment in which to operate. Activists from around the globe shared personal stories of harassment in response to their work on human rights issues. These stories underscore the demand for urgent support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) under attack.

That is why we have created Lifeline: the Embattled NGO Assistance Fund to provide emergency assistance to NGOs and support advocacy initiatives that raise awareness of the often hostile environments in which they operate. The Secretary announced this fund last year in Krakow and fulfilled her promise to create it. The Department of State leveraged funding to seed Lifeline and secure contributions from 12 other governments, totaling $4 million.

Our efforts also help civil society organizations increase the reach and impact of their work through new and innovative technologies. On the margins of the Ministerial conference, the Department of State hosted a tech camp that brought together 85 civil society activists from around the region, and provided them with training from technology experts on how to make their work more effective.

I can say with full confidence that we have taken a step in the right direction to engage civil society organizations with our work here in Vilnius. Civil society has an important role to play in the transition to a more democratic government. As Secretary Clinton eloquently puts it, "representative government, a well-functioning market, and civil society work like three legs of a stool." Engaging these three aspects of society is necessary to truly promote a more democratic world, and I feel that we have helped to further that idea in this Ministerial meeting of the Community of Democracies.



South Korea
July 2, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

France, Germany and Greece's active support for, naturally, in Europe, has created an economic barrier is thought. Excited and feel that you're a sweetie. Let's support of China, told us ... For a while, the word crisis in the stock market will disappear and re-create the plan for the holidays they're loaded one.

Honestly, I'd like to give a gift to France and Germany. How to provide an opportunity for China hagoyo adequate. Opportunity? - China at the crossroads of growth and recession I think. Growth is considered suitable for the advice. Ever, even if anxiety.

(By the way, I keep my working environment I'm even more upset, I hate people that these activities must feel that.)


Vilnius, Lithuania

We do not know about the two countries. If you develop a little more support, but, when the Greek crisis, stabilization, automatically bateulgeogo benefits, then, a lot of support, even winds up getting preferential recognition by other countries should think you'd feel. I want to now, the possibility of equity issues ...? Still, the White House blog is Let's put her name on the two countries. If you do not owe angry is an act cocky.

PS 2012?

and, Still other countries, hoping to help the Secretary of State, are vying with each other is thinking. Frankly, Mr. Secretary of State for the little attention salryeotdago countries, I think personally. Perhaps, like me, other people think him to be thinking now, is difficult in Europe, some countries only if supported, the other countries ..... I do not know.

South Korea
July 2, 2011

Palgye in South Korea writes:

2018 - For once I am in the 2018 Winter Olympics, I wanted to attract to you that many times in Korea, favor, we work, yunna Kim in Canada for performing the assignment and supervision order, was an adverse situation, wanted to be, the White House and the State Department had asked him for help in your blog, so clean the next day, the problem has been fixed, yunna Kim earned a gold medal at the Olympics. Razz coincidence, someone has to help you think clearly ring was given. Everything changes one day if you feel that it is almost impossible.

However, in Korea, I, as a very bad man, ..........

Personal opinion I do not know about that. France and Germany's leading role and participation of China, occur again in Greece has created a barrier to the financial crisis. I think he will need to provide a reasonable price. Of the United States, the time and money to spare, have a significant margin was Given a reasonable cost, to encourage the participation of other countries, would help significantly to expect.

France and Germany, receiving a reasonable price Thank You I will say that it was. Burden. But, China also received a little .....

76-digits, gratefully accepted.

Ever, yunna Kim issue, the Secretary of State who heal it going? Well, then, Canada Winter Games, too?

yes, mom.

July 2, 2011

W.W. writes:

our lives? our Future!

Berlusconi Democracy report:

A man Elected with an audience standing ovation.

July 2, 2011

W.W. writes:

A civil society don't need NGO's ...

July 2, 2011

W.W. writes:

Just keep it alive :

Warsaw, Moscow, Budapest, Berlin, Prague, Sofia and Bucharest have become stages in a long pilgrimage toward liberty. It is admirable that in these events, entire peoples spoke out – women, young people, men, overcoming fears, their irrepressible thirst for liberty speeded up developments, made walls tumble down and opened gates.

July 2, 2011

W.W. writes:

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.

New Mexico, USA
July 3, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Dear Sec. Posner,

When I read this, it really blew my mind.

I've had her answer the whole time...;

(news item)

"This is his country, his land, his people. Where would he go?," Ayesha Gadhafi, 34, told CNN affiliate France 2 during an interview at her home in Tripoli.

"There is one thing that you don't understand and that you will never understand. It is that my father is a symbol, a guide."

The comments by Gadhafi's daughter come as NATO's bombing campaign crossed the 100-day mark, raising concerns among some that the airstrikes could drag on for months.

--end excerpt--

Fact is the guy dresses like the pied piper and he's playing symbolic flute solos over the chorus, "Oy ve, why does this keep happening to me." while guiding his followers like lemmings over oblivion's cliff.

Where else would he go?

Drag his whole country so far down with him folks won't be able to climb up it again in a decade if we let him get away with it much longer.

Think "regime replacement therapy" and let me count the ways a people can get there from here; without our help generally being statisticly hovering right about zero historicly. Give or take a miracle of transition in exception to the rune.

Defying all probability of success; if neccesity was the mother of invention, desperation was surely the father.

Pretty safe to say if one is going to kluge a soviet rocket pod to a Toyota and drive hell bent for freedom, there be a fine example.

Expect no less a creative aproach when the post -ghaddafi therapy session gets rolling, and all the people have gone through becomes worth the renassance.

I know it's up to the Lybian people to determine their leaders, but that option becomes fairly moot when he's threatening Europe with retaliation.

Reminds me of a guy who tried to commit suicide by cop and was successful.

If we are in this to protect populations and there's a warrant outstanding; it looks to me like one of two options remains; either serve it on behalf of the Lybian people or oblige him his death wish as bein' terminally stupid, on behalf of everyone.

And thus procceeding onward through the fog of war toward change we can live with.

Thanks for listening, hope you'll see fit to pass this on, wouldn't want to keep the lady in the dark, if you know what I mean.

Bein' a gentleman and scholar and all.

Best Regards,


Nader M.
United States
July 19, 2011

Nader in U.S.A. writes:

Dear Secretary Posner, reading your article about “Broadening a Global Coalition for the Protection of Universal Freedoms” made me think about one the biggest injustices that US State Department has committed by placing People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran on FTO list in 1997. I believe that this action which was part of an appeasement policy of President Clinton’s administration toward the Iranian regime at the time of President Khatami never produced the expected result and to the contrary became a dark spot on US history toward Iranian people and their freedom movement for democracy. The expectation of this political gesture, that was not realized ever in past 14 years, was to help to normalize relationship with Iran at the expense of violating Human Rights of an organization that only waged war against the fascist regime of the Mullahs of Iran since they violated Human Rights of so many political, religious, ethnic, labor, women groups after monopolizing power in less than three years after 1979 revolution. Today, after 14 years passing since such a big injustice was committed by State Department, a great number of well known US politicians have expressed their views that this action not only did not serve the interest of US government of its citizens, but also harmed the Iranian people’s march toward freedom and democracy and violated the Human Rights of PMOI. By the order of the court more than a year ago, US State Department was supposed to reconsider its wrong decision and take PMOI off the FTO list as never belonged to be on such list in the first place. Putting PMOI on FTO list since 14 years ago has given an excuse to the fascist regime of the Mullahs of Iran to execute anyone affiliated with PMOI in Iran a well as giving the excuse to the new dictator of Iraq, Nori al-Maleki who does what Iranian Mullahs ask him to do and his forces attacked Camp Ashraf, that PMOI members and Iranian dissidents in Iraq are residing at, on 2009 and 2011. So many innocent lives are lost because of a bad political decision and more innocent lives are in danger if this issue is not resolved and justice is not restored for PMOI. What is holding back Secretary Clinton and US State Department of doing the right thing? In the name of Universal Freedoms, Human Rights, and justice please ask Secretary Clinton to make the right decision ASAP. Let’s keep hope alive for Iranian people that they can reach freedom and democracy on their own as US stops the appeasement policies toward the Iranian regime that Iranian people have proved, during the last two years and their continuous uprising, that they do not want anymore and does not belong to civilized international society.

New Mexico, USA
July 19, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:


You may wish to review this;

182 F.3d 17, 337 U.S.App.D.C. 106

United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit.



UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF STATE and Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State, Respondents.

Argued March 5, 1999.

Decided June 25, 1999.



One may reassess the designation as is currently being done by the Dept of State, but personally I would have to question your evaluation of the group's activities over time, as well as the notion that there is some political consideration of "appeasement" to the Iranian gov. regarding any aspect of this.

However, one could draw comparitive precedent for dropping them from such a list of terrorist org.'s, as they have publicly rejected the use of violence and terrorism just as has the PLO that now is the legally recognized representive of the Palestinian's hopes for statehood.

When is a terrorist not a terrorist?

When he walks the path to peace for years on end looking for it without a weapon in his hand.

Takes some doing to convince people of that.



United States
July 20, 2011

Nasrin in the U.S.A. writes:


As an Iranian-American citizen, I just want to say if you indeed are after democracy and support of Iranian people and not not the regime, then you must take MEK off you FTO list. Not only this is the right thing to do, and you keep The Ianian regime on getting their hand of the atomic bomb and that would be start of a Nuke war. If you don't care about Iranian people, at least please care about American people. Thank you.


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