Regional organizations are a key driver of democratic transformation, fostering cooperation between countries.
International IDEA’s Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) initiative provides a unique platform for dialogue on democracy between eight of the world’s most important regional organizations. International IDEA facilitates the IRDD and hosts its Secretariat with the aim of enabling spaces for dialogue and the exchange of best practices on relevant matters related to democracy support and good governance.
The platform also enables synergies and channels of cooperation among the regional organizations and with relevant global actors to enhance coordination and effectiveness in the implementation of joint actions. International IDEA produces knowledge products based on the interaction among global and regional arrangements, and with other relevant stakeholders such as Member States, civil society organizations, experts, practitioners and citizens, with the goal of supporting democracy worldwide at the local, national, regional and global levels.
Which organizations are involved?
The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) is a platform for engagement among regional organizations on democracy and related issues. The regional organizations include:
- African Union (AU)
- Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
- Council of Europe (COE)
- European Union (EU)
- League of Arab States (LAS)
- Organization of American States (OAS)
- Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)
- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)
Through the IRDD, International IDEA works to bring the regional efforts of regional organizations to the global context and create synergies with international organizations. In this sense, the IRDD also counts on the participation and support of the United Nations and the Community of Democracies (CoD).
What does the IRDD provide?
The IRDD provides:
- an open exchange among international and regional organizations on matters related to democracy and good governance;
- a channel of participation for civil society and grass roots organizations, experts and citizens;
- an opportunity to connect actions at the national, regional and global level, to avoid replication and foster collaborative actions to advance the agenda on democracy in support of Member States;
- an avenue for peer-to-peer exchanges to facilitate sharing of experiences; and
- a response to the demand for dialogue and sharing of comparative knowledge and experiences.
What are the IRDD’s objectives?
The IRDD has two primary objectives:
- to exchange information and improve inter-regional dialogue on governance agendas facilitated by democratic processes and institutions; and
- to advance mutual understanding and collaboration at the inter-regional level on democracy through intellectual and people-to-people exchanges.
How does the IRDD operate?
The IRDD organizes an annual High-Level Meeting of the Heads of Regional Organizations and the Secretary-General of International IDEA. The meeting follows the retreat format (i.e. Head of Organization plus one) and the Chatham House Rule. This is supported by the Senior Officials Meeting, which includes the IRDD Focal Points. In addition, annual workshops are organized (and accompanying publications produced) that focus on specific and operational issues pertinent to democracy and regional organizations. The workshops are attended by the IRDD Focal Points, senior officials of regional organizations, policymakers, democracy experts, civil society representatives and other relevant stakeholders.