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Democracy

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which institutions are in receipt of UK Government funding to promote democracy around the world. (97499)

A wide range of institutions and organisations receive Government support for activities which promote the development of democratic processes and institutions. The promotion of democracy cannot be separated from wider work to promote human rights, good governance and the rule of law; the Government sees these as interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

One main channel for UK bilateral work is through the grant in aid to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) directly supports institutions and organisations involved in democracy promotion through the Global Opportunities Fund (GOF), in particular the Sustainable Development, Reuniting of Europe, Engaging with the Islamic World, and Economic Governance programmes.

We also provide financial contributions to a number of international multilateral organisations which are involved in promoting democracy, including, in some cases, through election observation missions. These include the European Union, in particular through the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR); the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in particular its Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR); the Council of Europe; and the UN, including the recently established UN Democracy Fund, as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Further information on the FCO's work to promote democracy is given in chapter 9 of the 2006 FCO Annual Report on Human Rights, published on 12 October 2006, which can also be found on the FCO website at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/hr_report2006.pdf. Copies of the report are also available in the Library of the House. Further details of GOF work will be provided in the GOF Annual Report for 2005-06, to be published as a Command Paper on 14 November 2006, which will also be made available on the FCO website at: www.fco.gov.uk.