Cooperation between countries occurs at many levels. Regional organizations are a crucial driver of democratic change.
This initiative provides a platform for dialogue between eight of the world’s largest and most important regional organizations. The Inter-Regional Democracy Resource Centre is the Secretariat of the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy. It is also a virtual resource centre for democracy at the regional and inter-regional level.
About the Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy
The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy (IRDD) is a platform for engagement among regional organizations on democracy and related issues. International IDEA is facilitator and hosts the Secretariat.
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)
The Inter-Regional Dialogue on Democracy allows:
- Biennial meetings of the UN Secretary-General with regional organizations taking the lead in defining the agenda
- Avenue for peer-to-peer exchanges to facilitate sharing of experiences;
- Mutually beneficial, consistent with the mandates of regional organizations as expressed in their Charters and Declarations, as well as supportive of their actions and activities; and
- Responds to the demand for dialogue and sharing of comparative knowledge and experiences.
The IRDD has two 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.
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, in determining the themes of the High-Level Meeting, 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.