Ministerial Conferences are the peak of the Community's work. Once every two years, high-level representatives of all participating states of the Community of Democracies, together with representatives of civil society, youth and the private sector, meet at the capital of the current Presidency.
For several days, participants evaluate the Community's work in the past two years, and make plans and recommendations for the upcoming years. They discuss also the latest developments in democracy around the world and the way that the Community of Democracies should relate to these events. Different fora for parliamentarians, youth, civil society, private sector and women, focus on particular aspects of the Community's work and make their unique recommendations.
The highlight of each Ministerial Conference is the signing of the Ministerial Declaration- a reaffirmation of the countries' commitment to the values and practices of democracy, and a pledge for further activities to support these values- all declarations and statements can be found at the documents' session
of the website. At the end of the Conference, after the signing of the Declaration, the rotating Presidency is passed forward, to the country that will be taking the role for the two following years.
The inaugural Ministerial Conference was convened in Warsaw in June 2000 by eight countries: Chile, the Czech Republic, India, Mali, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea and the United States. It brought together representatives from 106 countries, and hundreds of democracy advocates and activists. Participants endorsed the Warsaw Declaration, affirming each government's commitment to strengthen and promote democratic values and practices. Following meetings took plae in Seoul (Republic of Korea, 2002), Santiago (Chile, 2005), Bamako (Mali, 2007) and Lisbon (Portugal, 2009, under the theme "The impact of the global economic and financial crisis on democratic governance").
In July 2010, the city of Krakow in Poland hosted a special High-level Democracy Meeting (HLDM) on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Community, bringing together eighty-seven official delegations from around the world. Among the guests were former U.S. Secretary of State and co-founder of the Community of Democracies, Madeleine Albright, Polish democracy icon Lech Wałęsa, and 200 civil society activists from Myanmar/Burma, Zimbabwe, China, Russia and Cuba. The meeting in Krakow also hosted a meeting of the then newly created Parliamentary Forum.
The sixth Ministerial Conference took place in Vilnius, Lithuania, in 2011. The Vilnius Declaration, adopted during the Conference, launched the Democracy Partnership Challenge initiative and established the Community's Governing Council. Two years later, in 2013, the Presidency of Mongolia hosted the seventh Ministerial Conference in the capital Ulaanbaatar, highlighting the message of democracy on the rise in Asia. Representatives of governments, civil society, parliaments and international organizations, as well as Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Aung San Suu Kyi and Tawakkol Karman, attended the conference. Among the main outcomes of the Conference were a pledge by the Mongolian government for a yearly contribution of USD 150,000 for the functioning of the Community of Democracies, and the establishment of the Asian Democracy Network, consisting of Foreign Ministers of participating states of the Community of Democracies from the Asia-Pacific region.