Community of Democracies Vilnius Declaration highlights civil society

7 July 2011

On July 1, 2011, the participants in the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies held in Vilnius, Lithuania, agreed to the Vilnius Declaration.  This Declaration highlighted, among other things, the importance of an enabling legal framework for civil society:

Further emphasising that an enabling legal environment for civil society organizations is an essential component of a sustainable democracy.

With that recognition, participants agreed to:
"condemn continued persecution of civil society activists in many countries around the world and strongly support the establishment of an objective, independent mechanism for monitoring repressive measures against civil society and non-governmental organizations. We actively support the promotion of the rights of every person, including members of civil society to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association. We encourage initiatives that provide technical training for civil society on the use of new technology to advance and enhance civil society's efforts".