The text of the following statement was released by the governments of Poland and the United States on the occasion of the 2014 Annual U.S.-Poland Democracy Dialogue.
Senior Department of State and USAID officials, led by the Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Civil Society and Emerging Democracies Dr. Tomicah Tillemann, welcomed Polish Deputy Foreign Minister for European Policy Dr. Henryka Moscicka-Dendys, and a delegation of senior Polish officials, to Washington for the annual U.S.-Poland Democracy Dialogue on May 23, 2014.
The United States and Poland agreed to strengthen their strategic cooperation on a broad range of programs to advance democracy worldwide. Key focus areas included the countries of the Eastern Partnership, including Ukraine and Moldova, as well as global efforts to support and defend civil society and independent media. The United States and Poland support Ukraine’s efforts to build a democratic, sovereign, and united Ukraine. We agree that we all, including our European partners and allies, can promote a stable and positive environment for the citizens of Ukraine to vote freely this May 25.
The Dialogue identified six areas to strengthen and increase collaboration:
- Expansion of the Community of Democracies’ LEND Network for Leaders Engaged in New Democracies to additional countries in the Eastern Partnership and the region.
- Discussion of a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation between USAID and the respective Polish counterparts in supporting democratic development and governance in Eastern Partnership countries.
- Consideration of possibilities to fund civil society support activities through the Community of Democracies’ “CD-UNITED” co-financing initiative.
- Exploration of opportunities for Polish officials to participate in a fellowship program at USAID headquarters in Washington as part of a diplomatic exchange.
- Discussion of a USAID grant to the Polish Solidarity Fund, which would expand ongoing joint efforts to strengthen local governance and community development in Moldova.
- Collaboration in the Lifeline: Embattled Civil Society Organizations Assistance Fund.
Democracy and human rights are core values of Polish and American cooperation. We have strong traditions of supporting democracy and human rights around the world and we cooperate closely on these issues in the OSCE, the Community of Democracies, and the United Nations. Poland’s post-1989 transition experience demonstrated the importance of ensuring fundamental freedoms, establishing the rule of law and good governance, protecting human rights, and developing a participatory civil society.
The United States commends Poland’s leadership in recognizing courageous individuals who champion human rights and democratic values around the world. On June 3, Poland will present its first Solidarity Award honoring a human rights activist. During October 23-25, the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy will focus on democracy promotion and challenges to civil society.
The U.S. delegation confirmed plans to participate in the upcoming Wroclaw Global Forum on June 5-7, 2014 in Wroclaw, Poland. During the conference, government leaders and activists from Poland, the U.S., and central Europe will discuss how best to expand support for the Stand with Civil Society agenda and strengthen emerging democracies.
- Source: state.gov