Declaration: Securing democracy and reaffirming people's rights

SANTO DOMINGO COUNCIL - At a turning point for a sustainable future - the Social Democratic Way Forward, 23-24 November 2009


Original: French

The democratic development of political institutions rests upon the holding of elections that are  free and legitimate and within the Rule of Law.

The Socialist International rejects any disruption of democratic institutions resulting from acts of force and leading to the existence of “de facto” governments interrupting normal democratic processes..

For the reasons above mentioned, the SI declares the need for:

- The full respect for democratically elected authorities, and international support in order that they may fulfill their constitutional mandate

- The respect for other legally established democratic forms of participation

-The respect for individual and collective freedoms, including freedom of the press

- The separation of powers, legislative, executive and the judiciary

- The independence of the judicial system

- The alternation of power by means of free, honest and transparent elections, based on a majority rule and taking into account minorities' rights

- The right to a decent standard of living, to education, to health and to housing

- The right to respect cultural identities


It is important to remember that the basis and aims of democracy are the creation of favourable conditions for the preservation of human dignity and flourishing of the community. To fulfill this fundamental function, it must be taken into account the economic and social rights which are inseparable from an equal distribution of wealth: the right to food, clothing, health, drinking water, education and full development within their own cultures.

In effect, a democracy without this content, which is inbuilt in the fundamental human rights, is nothing but an illusion of freedom.

Our commitment is to advance the cause of democracy in the world, to contribute to the spread of democratic governance based on the system of norms and guarantees of a substantial democracy. A democracy for citizens with political, human, social, economic, cultural and environmental rights.

We wish to work for the consolidation of democracies in countries that have recently arrived at such a political system, favouring active and efficient policies of international cooperation.

We believe in transforming the current world financial crisis into an opportunity for global solidarity, as a consequence of a new global governance from a new framework for international relations, where emergent countries and the new regional powers have their place.

We affirm the need for consolidating citizens's rights and for working for their extension, fighting any kind of regression.