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Cablegate: Outcome of Opening Meeting of the Community Of

VZCZCXRO8198
RR RUEHCD RUEHGD RUEHHO RUEHMC RUEHNG RUEHNL RUEHRD RUEHRS RUEHTM
DE RUEHME #1357 0752116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 162116Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY MEXICO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5869
INFO RUEHXC/ALL US CONSULATES IN MEXICO COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0122

UNCLAS MEXICO 001357

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR DRL, IO, AND WHA/MEX

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KDEM PHUM PGOV PREL UNGA MX
SUBJECT: OUTCOME OF OPENING MEETING OF THE COMMUNITY OF
DEMOCRACIES WORKING GROUP ON POVERTY, DEVELOPMENT, AND
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE MARCH 12

REF: STATE 29741

1. (SBU) Poloff participated in the March 12, 2007 opening
meeting of the Community of Democracies (CD) working group on
"poverty, development, and democratic governance" held at the
Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) in Mexico City. The

SIPDIS
working group was inaugurated by Mexican Undersecretary of
Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights Juan Manuel Gomez
Robledo and co-chaired by the Government of Argentina.
Before opening up the discussions, each roundtable was
initiated by a speaker: Round Table 1 "Governance and
Democracy," Mr. Luis Huacuja Acevedo, UNAM; Round Table 2
"Development and Democracy," Mr, Dong Nguyen Huu, PNUD; and
Round Table 3 "Poverty and Democracy," Mr. Jose Antonio
Crespo, CIDE.

2. (SBU) Working group discussions were often theoretical and
philosophical in nature. Important issues raised included
definitions of democracy and its merits and deficiencies, the
struggle to eradicate poverty and recognize that economic
marginalization can impede political participation, the
shared responsibility between governments and civil society,
the need to do more to include women and minorities in the
democratic process, the importance of understanding
trans-national threats to democracy and implications for
sovereignty, recognizing that democracy on its own is not a
guarantee of development, the requirement of rule of law in
effective democracies, and the interdependence between these
themes. There was a lengthy discussion about the corrosive
effect of structures of privileges in Latin America;
democracies that have waited too long to end elite privileges
and adequately address poverty and inequality have
experienced leftward political tendencies and populist appeal.

3. (SBU) Poloff used themes in reftel for the roundtable
discussions to explain U.S. positions and, as requested,
emphasized the need to initiate concrete proposals,
suggesting looking at the negative relationship between
corruption and development. Seminar participants agreed to
study this issue in depth in the next meeting, incorporating
best practices developed by the World Bank and OSCE and also
looking at the outcome of the International Anti-Corruption
Conference held in Guatemala in November 2006. Other
representatives reflected on their countries' respective
experiences with democracy and development, with a number
arguing that widespread poverty can contaminate democratic
life.

4. (SBU) The Secretariat of Foreign Affairs (SRE) has
prepared a draft document summarizing the discussion at the
seminar, which will be forwarded to DRL via facsimile.
Delegations have until March 20 to make comments. The
document states specifically that it reflects the discussions
of the working group with the aim of not prejudicing or
prioritizing issues discussed, and that it does not
necessarily reflect the positions of member governments.
Post requests that DRL review the draft and provide guidance.


Visit Mexico City's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/wha/mexicocity
GARZA

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