Purposes of a League of Democracies

Ivo H. Daalder
Ivo H. Daalder, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs
Ivo H. Daalder Former Brookings Expert, President - Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

May 29, 2008

In this video clip of a discussion held by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Ivo Daalder explains what he sees as the four purposes of a proposed league (or concert) of democracies. A brief transcription introduction to the clip follows.

IVO DAALDER: What is it that this concert — which is what I would call it — of democracies supposed to do? This is a frequent question, aside from generalizing and enhancing cooperation, I think there are 4 things.

In fact it’s four things that come out of a meeting Tod [gesturing to Tod Lindberg] participated in Florence, where we had representatives less skeptical than the ones that Tom [Thomas Carothers] met in Europe. From Japan, from Brazil, from India, as well as from Europe and the United States.

And the four things we thought usefully could be done by this kind of group is first, is for the democracies to work together, to help reform, adapt, and change international institutions starting with the UN. It would be a good thing for democracies to work within the United Nations to promote reform, particularly starting on the issues of democracy and human rights.

And in fact, to start displacing the regional blocs, that one are archaic, but two have so prevented needed reform. Wouldn’t it be a good idea, for example, if we are voting for memership in the Human Rights Council that the democracies vote as a bloc, just to put it bluntly in those terms.

More generally, that democracies work together on reform of international institutions. In order also to demonstrate that this is not about taking over or supplementing international institutions but it is to enhance international cooperation at large.

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