The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) proposed and led the push for the creation of the International Democratic Solidarity Commission within the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Civil Society Advisory Board. Electoral Transparency, the Argentine branch of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and the Center for Research and Training for Social Entrepreneurs (CICES) have all joined the Commission.
The Commission’s purpose will be to advise the Foreign Affairs Ministry on initiatives that contribute to the adoption of a more active foreign policy in the defense and promotion of civil and political liberties abroad.
One of the motives behind the Commission’s creation is, according to an official statement by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the idea that “the promotion of human rights constitutes a central axis to our foreign policy”. Moreover, the Commission’s founding is also motivated by the international solidarity shown to Argentina during the last military dictatorship. It is because of this history that there is a sense of moral obligation to take similar actions for those living in countries where a) fundamental liberties are severely repressed; b) there is a major degradation in democratic institutions; and c) there are reported cases of intolerance.
The Commission’s work will include the following:
- Having the Southern Cone countries (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) adopt a common democratic agenda in their human rights and foreign policies, which includes coordinating their actions within intergovernmental organizations.
- Leading the push for two reform proposals regarding the selection of Member States to the UN’s Human Rights Council.
- Formulating observations and recommendations during the interactive dialogue at the UNCHR’s Universal Periodic Review and presenting them to Argentina’s Foreign Affair Ministry’s Office for Human Rights.
- Recommending the adoption of a democratic clause for the creation of Parliamentary Friendship Groups within the legislative branch.
- Providing informational support to Argentine diplomats posted abroad.
- Providing Foreign Service candidates training in foreign policy and human rights, including committed diplomacy practices.
- Participating in the selection of the three finalists to the Emilio Mignone International Award.
- Election monitoring in countries where elections are known to lack transparency and integrity and where political rights are not respected.
- Recommending the activation of the democratic clauses in regional organizations (OAS, Mercosur, UNASUR, CELAC, and OEI).
- Advising the Argentine government’s on its activities within the Community of Democracies and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
The Commission’s Coordinator is the Director of CADAL, Gabriel C. Salvia and its Assistant Coordinator of Election Monitoring is Electoral Transparency’s Director Leandro Querido.