At CoD Confab, Nigeria Restates Commitment To Entrenching Democratic Values
SAN FRANCISCO, April 29, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday restated his administration’s commitment to the entrenchment of democratic values in all nations of the world.
The president gave the assurance while speaking at the 7th Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies (CoD) in Ulaanbaatar, the Mongolian capital.
Represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo, President Jonathan stated that Nigeria, as the biggest democracy in Africa, was prepared to work at all times with other nations to create a league of democratic drivers who would ensure the entrenchment of best practices.
“Nigeria will at all times lead the way to strong democratic values amongst the nations of Africa. It is on this note that our administration has pledged to ensure that local elections in Nigeria are held according to established international norms,” he said.
The president, who described the positive relationship between democracy and economic growth draws example from Nigeria’s democracy whose relative stability has brought about democratic dividends to her people.
While reiterating his administration’s commitment to providing the people of Nigeria good services on a democratic platform where, the President said his government remained focused on strengthening democracy through the institutionalisation of good governance, creation of opportunities as well as economic growth.
He listed some global challenges to democracy to include the activities of undemocratic elements who seize democratic freedom to destabilise the political system and terrorism by non-state actors which tend to overwhelm legitimate democracies.
He nonetheless called on all members to work hard in entrenching democracy and rule of law to defeat those challenges even as he called on all not to relent in pursuing the principles of democracy and rule of law to defeat those he described as the unwholesome agents.
“We must continue to strengthen our collective resolve to confront current and future challenges as a united entity and thereby engender sustainable peace and development for our people,” he said.
Jonathan lauded the Member Countries for electing Nigeria as the incoming president for the period 2015-2017 and assured of his administration’s continued commitment to the entrenchment of democratic values within the nation and in working towards the internationalisation of democratic values.
Earlier, the Nobel laureate and former chairperson of the National League for Democracy of Myammar, Aung Suu Kyi, who was the guest of honour at the event, expressed gratitude to those who stood by them in their more than two decades of struggle for democracy and also prayed that they shall continue to stand by them in their journey towards democracy. .
She described democracy as the ability to chose right over wrong but cautioned that democracy must be accompanied by a genuine improvement in the standard of living of the people.
Aung Suu Kyi, who draws on the multi-pluralistic society of her native Myanmar, cautioned against conflict in overcoming difficulties. She called for a non-violent approach in their quest to achieving democracy and development.
Other speakers at the event were President Ts. Elbegdorj of Mongolia, Tawakkol Karman (2011 Nobel Peace Price Laureatte), Maria Lessner CD Secretary-General, Alfio Piva Mensen ,Vice President of Costa Rica; Catherine Ashton ,Vice President of the European Commission; Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the UN office at Geneva (UNOG), and Yingluck Shinawatra, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
The Community of Democracies (CoD) is a global inter-governmental coalition of democratic countries with the goal of promoting democratic rules and strengthening democratic norms and institutions around the world.
The governing council is the highest decision making body with 24 member countries (Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Finland, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, South Africa, Republic Of Korea, Sweden, United States and Uruguay.) Over 100 democratic countries participate at the ministerial meetings every two years.