One of the unique features of the Community of Democracies is its gathering of different states in the pursuit of democratic values. Because legislation influences policy and sets principles, legislative bodies play an important role in molding the democratic rule of a country.
Established in 2010, the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy is an organization for members of parliament, past and present, within the Community of Democracies. This group, which focuses especially on legislative bodies, aims to strengthen democratic norms, practices, and institutions within countries undergoing democratic transitions. The forum pursues these goals by promoting the best practices of successful democracies, identifying challenges to nascent democracies, and expressing solidarity with fellow members of parliament and democracy advocates in non-democracies.
Members of the Parliamentary Forum engage in a variety of activities that draw upon their expertise and experience. The Parliamentary Forum participates in the Ministerial Conferences of the Community of Democracies and contributes to its outcomes. Also, members of the Parliamentary Forum share their knowledge with legislative members in young democracies. For example, this group held meetings with the “Tunisian School of Politics” in 2012 and 2013. Finally, the forum organizes various thematic meetings on topics of democracy and parliamentarian work in order to further examine the role of legislators in strengthening democracy. These meetings have been held in Tbilisi in 2011, Vilnius in 2012 and Washington in 2013.
Membership in the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy is open to all current and former legislators from national parliaments of the Community’s Participating States. Also, the forum welcomes parliamentarians from non-CD countries, provided that they are committed to defending democracy and human rights. For more information or to join the Forum, please visit its website.