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World: Foreign Ministers Approve Democracy Declaration

Warsaw, 27 June 2000 (RFE/RL) - Foreign ministers from some 100 countries today declared the basic principles of how a democracy is supposed to work. All of the ministers signed the democracy declaration at the end of their two-day meeting in Warsaw, except those from France and Honduras. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed the hope that the world's democracies will come together, as a community, to act against tyrants when necessary. "I hope that democracies will reinforce each other, that they will help democracies in distress and democracies that need to be strengthened. And this sort of a collaborative effort and peer pressure, where required, to steer governments right -- I think -- is going to be extremely important."

But French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said the declaration could be interpreted as offering a political commitment for future intervention in foreign states, ostensibly to support democracy. The declaration makes no specific mention of possible intervention and merely declares the participating states' common interest in furthering global democracy.