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SOCIETY Magazin 358

MONGOLEI POLITIK Meeting of the Community of Democracies Community of Democracies Mongolia Is To Lead Democracy Promotion As of 1 July Mongolia is chairing the Community of Democracies (CoD), an intergovernmental organization established by democratic countries in 2000 with the aim of promoting the strengthening and deepening of democratic norms and practices. It will be chairing the CoD for two years. Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Audronius Azubalis passed the Presidency of the CoD to Mongolia. Azubalis symbolically presented the flag of the Community of Democracies to President of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj. In preparation for this chairmanship, Mongolia has established a National council headed by the Prime Minister. Also a parliamentary group for the CoD has been established. The liaison with the members of the CoD and its Secretariat, based in Warsaw, would be carried out by a special working group that includes not only experts on democracy and democratic governance, but also representatives of the civil society, pro- 24 | SOCIETY 2_11 democracy NGOs, human rights advocates and media representatives. Mongolia is known to have a good pool of experts on democracy promotion since it chaired in 2003-2006 the Fifth Conference of new or restored democracies (ICNRD). When chairing the CoD, Mongolia is expected to focus on democracy education, working with and supporting civil society, strengthening CoD regional cooperation and promoting broader interaction among democracies and sharing experience. Mongolia is known to have developed democratic governance indicators (DGIs) in 2006 that enables the civil society and ordinary people in general to monitor progress in democratic and social development, and to raise public awareness on democratic governance, as well as promote national consensus building. Mongolia had made use of the International IDEA methodology and tailored it to reflect the country’s specifics, without which the indicators would not be practically useful nor accepted by the Mongolian society. The two funda- mental principles of its democratic governance are seen popular control and political equality. Two sets of indicators have been developed: 114 core (relevant in all democracies) and 17 satellite (reflecting Mongolia’s specifics). On the basis of these DGIs three reports of independent experts have been issued on the state of democracy in Mongolia, the last one in spring 2011 for consideration and possible follow-up measures by the government and the society in general. The civil society plays an important and effective “democracy watch” function in Mongolia. A country with a 2.7 mio. population has over 8500 registered NGOs. That is why when taking over the CoD chairmanship, Mongolia intends to make a special emphasis on supporting and promoting civil society as an important democracy support and assessment tool of the society. Mongolia has expressed interest in cooperating in democracy promotion with Austria and all other interested states as well as with international organizations, including the Vienna-based OSCE. FOTO: LITHUANIAN MFA

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