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Cablegate: Czech Republic: Engaged On Community of Democracies

VZCZCXYZ0002
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPG #1087 2631229
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201229Z SEP 07 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9645
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PRAGUE 001087

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

G FOR JOAQUIN FERRAO, DRL/MLGA FOR GIANNI PAZ, S/P FOR
DAVID SOKOLSKY, AND EUR/NCE FOR ALEX TRATENSEK, EAP/TC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EU EZ KDEM PGOV PREL UNGA
SUBJECT: CZECH REPUBLIC: ENGAGED ON COMMUNITY OF DEMOCRACIES

REF: STATE 129764

1. (SBU) The Czech government continues to be very engaged on
how to best advance the work of the Community of Democracies.
They took note of the October 1, 2:30pm meeting to be hosted
by Mali on the margins of the UNGA, which they currently are
planning to attend at the FM level.

Czechs Support UNDF Financially
-------------------------------
2. (SBU) The Czech government contributed to the UN Democracy
Fund last year, and will contribute this year at the same
level (50,000 USD last year). Both Director Gabriela Dlouha
of the Human Rights and Transition Policy Department and Olga
Hajflerova, with the same department, stated that the Czechs
are firmly committed to the work of the UNDF and noted that
they have been pleased to see it fund some excellent NGO
projects.

Bamako Declaration and CD Working Groups
----------------------------------------
3. (SBU) According to Hajflerova, who presently handles
Community of Democracy issues for the Czech MFA, the Czechs
found the initial draft Bamako declaration to be an
excellent, solid starting point. The Czechs made numerous
suggestions this summer on how to strengthen the document.
Their primary concern remains that they believe the document
places quite a heavy obligation on governments to provide for
empowerment of the poor. They would like to see these issues
delinked. Olga noted that the Czechs look forward to seeing
the document that comes out of the convening group discussion
September 20. Because of their interests and involvement in
reshaping this declaration, of the four working groups (civil
society, democracy and development, regional and
interregional cooperation, and threats to democracy), they
expressed an interest in perhaps taking an active role in the
working group on democracy and development.

The Challenge of Restrictive NGO Laws
-------------------------------------
4. (SBU) The Czech officials heartily concurred with our
assessment that restrictive NGO laws are a serious challenge
to democracy promotion in many countries today. They noted
our interest in having like-minded countries speak to this
issue and stated that they would see how they could
incorporate this into some of the Foreign Minister's comments
on democracy issues.

Interest in Including Taiwanese NGO
-----------------------------------
5. (SBU) As a side note, the Czech officials flagged for
praise the work of the NGO "Taiwan Foundation for Democracy."
They noted that this NGO has worked cooperatively with the
Czech NGO "People in Need" in Burma and that they would be
willing to support its inclusion at Community of Democracy
events. They also noted that the Taiwanese Foreign Minister
is quite involved in the work of this NGO.
GRABER

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