One of the “big gaps” in democracy assistance is being filled by advanced democracies providing assistance to struggling or emerging transitional counterparts.
“It’s a pleasure to be with all of you this afternoon to help launch the LEND Network, a new tool that will help countries navigate the transition to sustainable democracy,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a recent meeting of the Community of Democracies in Mongolia.
She spoke enthusiastically about the new online forum and how exciting it was to be able to provide “on-demand democracy support” to new leaders in places such as Kyrgyzstan…….
“It’s really one of the big gaps I see around the world,” Clinton said. “I mean, who do these people have to talk to? I mean, one day they’re a political prisoner or they’re in exile or minding their own business in their job or at the university they teach at and the next minute they’re a president or a prime minister or a foreign minister? I mean, imagine!”
“And there’s no real opportunity for them to feel comfortable because they don’t want to show weakness, don’t want to show ignorance — to say, ‘How does this work? What am I supposed to do?’ It’s fascinating to me.”
Other initiatives promoted during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State illustrate an approach that attempts to integrate democratic and development imperatives, her former policy planning chief suggests.
“People roll their eyes when she talks about clean cookstoves,” said Anne-Marie Slaughter, a board member of the National Endowment for Democracy. “But if the Alliance for Clean Cookstoves succeeds” — an initiative Clinton launched to get 100 million homes to ditch toxic fires for clean-burning stoves — “we will have reduced carbon, improved women’s security and saved millions of lives, and that is enormous.”