September 15th 2014 on international Democracy day the “Athens Forum 2014: (the first of its kind marking the International Day of Democracy in 2013), discuss Democracy Under Pressure. Sweden´s Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt, who was UN Secretary-GeneralSection 1s Special Envoy for the Balkans during 1990s, is one of the speakers at “Athens Forum 2014:
The UN is, truly multilateral organization of great note that is prominent in international democracy promotion. UN is and has been a significant Swedish global security interest. The Swedish government, most successful act undertaken by Folke Bernadotte, as vice-chairman of IRC during the twentieth century operation, called now-legendary “White Buses”, in 1945 still remains a proud moment in history of Sweden and which was the start up point for country’s long–term commitment in humanitarian and peace operations.
Count Folke Bernadotte, whom has given his name to the Folke Bernadotter Academy (Swedish government agency with a particular focus on peace operations) was the first UN official mediator, a member of the royal family, nephew to the king and an army officer, with a profound commitment to human values. The Folke Bernadotte Academy is currently working on a comprehensive project on rule of law in public administration in Ukraine to strengthen the capacity of local authorities and municipalities to deliver public services in accordance with rule of law principles and to increase knowledge and awareness among citizens on their rights vis-à-vis the local administration.
Furthermore, the Swedish contribution in peace operations is vast. Especially a number of specific measures in several conflict and post-conflict countries to strengthen women’s rights, and its involvement in the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 (on women, peace and security). Many Swedes have entrusted with important positions within the United Nations system. And Swedish leaders are playing prominent roles in global diplomacy. Foreign Minister Bildt has been a one-man diplomatic force against Russian aggression.The EU:s diplomatic efforts in this matter and the need for a strong alliances.
Thirty-five years ago, there were 40 democracies in the world. By the end of the 20th Century, that number had tripled. We have recently experienced what are arguably the significant political events of the last half-century; the collapse of the Soviet Empire and the global democratization wave of the 1990s. As advanced industrial societies are evolving into a new form of democratic politics, we are witnessing the initial development of democracy in a new set of nations and institutions of democracy.
Yet, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, the latest in a long line of Russian autocrats, has stated, instead: The collapse of the Soviet Union was a major geopolitical disaster of the century. It was, in fact, an opportunity, one that many in central and eastern Europe seized with both hands. They have mostly joined the western values, world of civilised modernity. What does that mean? It means intellectual and economic freedom. It means the right to engage freely in political and public life. It means governments subject to the rule of law and accountable to their people.
The democratization wave in Central and Eastern Europe, Asia, currently in the Middle East and Africa touch at the very core of many of our most basic questions about the nature of citizen politics and the working of the political process.
Under Putin, Russia has been a deeply counterrevolutionary power since at least 2004 (after the so-called Orange Revolution in Ukraine) and particularly since December 2011, when mass protests erupted in Moscow and some other Russian cities. The Russian political system has changed during Putin´s nearly 15 years in power. When he came into office Russia was partly democratic, but during his tenure it has become increasingly ritualistic and authoritarian.
“The west is partly responsible for this tragic outcome It failed to offer the support Russia needed quickly enough in the early 1990s.”, wrote economist, Martin Wolf, in Financial Times 17th September 2014. …But more important was the refusal of Russia´s elite to address the reasons for the collapse, then to start afresh. The nation that has emerged with Putin, sees itself as surrounded by enemies. Foreign relations are zero sum and success for others is a failure for Russia. In this view, a prosperous and democratic Ukraine, if achieved is a nightmare for Putin. Viewed from Moscow, western policy is the politics of Vesailles. In fact, the western position is based on two simple principles:
- first, a country is entitled to make its own choices, understood as constitutional independence granted: right to territorial integrity, freedom and political independence. (By far the most significant of World Order and diplomacy).
- Second, borders may not changed by force. Russia rejects both of them.
We’ve laid the foundations for a system of peace and cooperation. One is that boundaries always have to be respected. It was on these principles that the West and Russia agreed in 1990.
The west is not a treat to Russia. On the contrary, the EU´s role in promoting democratic political reform in central and Eastern European countries in the 1990s, and Balkans, just as many people in the transition and post-communist societies saw democratization as an aid to recovering national independence, freedom both from authoritarian rule and from political domination by the Soviet Union. So Western Europeans saw democratic reform in the near abroad as a plus for their own security. In United States, former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has been a strong backer of democracy promotion, helping to found the Community of Democracies, an organization of like-minded states. Similarly, the United States has paid a high price for its efforts to reengineer the politics of others.
The United States spent enormous amounts of treasure and considerable blood trying to turn Iraq into a functioning multi-ethnic democracy. The crucial part, especially at this critical juncture in U.S. foreign policy and global affairs in Middle East. At well attended UNSC meeting on Iraq U.S. Secretary John Kerry underscores the need to support the Iraqi government, to strengthen democratic institutions, maintain security to put an end ISIL´s barbarity.
In Europe the prospect of European Union (EU) membership is often considered the most successful instrument for the promotion of democracy in post-communist countries. Putins´s designs, meanwhile, are far grander than Ukraine. He hopes the conflict on Russia´s western flank will create divisions within european that shrink the Alliances influence.
On six occasions, between 1952 and 2009, European countries made the choice to apply for membership based on a democratic process and respect for the rule of law. NATO Allies made the unanimous choice to accept them. These efforts and commitments have moved Europe closer to being whole, free, and at peace than at any other time in history. And when in 2010 Ukraine decided to pursue a “non-bloc policy”, NATO fully respected that choice.