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Luxembourg assumes Chairship of International IDEA

December 04, 2023
From left: Bengt van Loosdrecht, Dutch Ambassador to Sweden, Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, International IDEA's Secretary-General and Henri Schumacher, Luxembourg Ambassador to Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway

At the Council of Member States meeting convened on 1 December 2023 at International IDEA’s Headquarters in Stockholm, the Netherlands, represented by Ambassador Bengt van Loosdrecht, handed over the Chairship of International IDEA to Luxembourg, represented by Ambassador Henri Schumacher. The transition in the Institute’s leadership also saw the appointment of Norway as Vice Chair.

Luxembourg welcomed its new role with great enthusiasm. “IDEA’s work to support sustainable democracy remains more important than ever, especially when it comes to equal participation. During Luxembourg’s Presidency of the Council of Member States, we seek to contribute to the promotion of gender equality and the active participation of all citizens in decision-making processes”, said Ambassador Schumacher. International IDEA’s Secretary-General, Dr Kevin Casas-Zamora, congratulated the newly elected Chairs and highlighted the Institute’s readiness to support the priorities and initiatives of the new leadership.  

As the Chair of International IDEA, Luxembourg has a key opportunity to shape the Institute's agenda and place a spotlight on critical aspects of democracy. To that end, Luxembourg has chosen to highlight the linkage between gender and democracy as the key thematic priority for its Chairship. This emphasis is rooted in the country’s longstanding commitment to gender equality, women's rights, and the human rights of marginalized groups. Luxembourg also wishes to pay attention to the intersection of gender with other topical issues and thereby contribute to International IDEA’s recently introduced workstreams on Climate Change and Democracy and Digitalization and Democracy. During their tenure, Luxembourg is set to organize events to highlight the linkages between these themes. The Secretary-General reiterated that Gender and Inclusion remain key issues to International IDEA as they are essential prerequisites for the protection and building of democracy.

As part of its Chairship, Luxembourg also aims to promote International IDEA as a key platform for dialogue between and among Member States, the Secretariat, and other relevant constituencies. This initiative harnesses the Institute’s global and diverse membership, addressing the interconnected and transnational nature of contemporary global challenges and threats to democracy. The commitment greatly aligns with the Secretary-General's characterization of democracy as a dynamic phenomenon, where challenges and opportunities vary across countries and contexts, as noted in the recently launched 2023 Global State of Democracy Report. It also underscores the importance of multilateral dialogue in addressing the complex challenges to democracy and the need for collaboration at a global level.

Luxembourg joined International IDEA in 2018 as the organization’s 32nd Member State. Since its accession, Luxembourg has been a key partner to International IDEA’s work in Myanmar. Luxembourg's commitment to support Myanmar is reflected in its support of the Building Federal Democracy in Myanmar (2023-2024) programme which seeks to assist the legitimate democratic actors in Myanmar by designing and implementing a new constitutional framework, establishing effective and accountable institutions, and promoting inclusive and participatory governance at all levels. From 2018 to 2022, Luxembourg contributed to this work by funding the MyConstitution programme, which aimed to enhance Myanmar's expertise in constitution building and foster an inclusive constitutional culture.

Each year, the Council of Member States elects a Chair for a term of one year. The Chair provides leadership and guidance to the Institute by chairing the Council and Steering Committee meetings, advancing conversations about topical governance issues and engaging actively with the Member States and Observers as well as the other governance bodies of the Institute. 

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