International Democratic Alliance
2013 –
Geographical location:

The member states of the Concert of Democracies.
Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Main languages: English, French, Spanish ¹
Membership: 56 member states
- 2005–2009:
- 2009–2013:

Sérgio Vieira de Mello
Hillary Rodham Clinton
- Treaty of Annapolis:

March 30, 2013
¹ Among the many languages and dialects used by the member states, English, French and Spanish is used as working languages. Important documents are translated into all of the organisation's offical languages.

The International Democratic Alliance (also known as the League of Democracies) is an international organization whose stated aims are to strengthen security cooperation among the world’s liberal democracies and to provide a framework in which they can work together to effectively tackle common challenges - ideally within existing regional and global institutions, but if those institutions fail, then independently, functioning as a focal point for efforts to strengthen liberty under law around the world. It would serve as the institutional embodiment and ratification of the “democratic peace”.


The United Nations, the most important international organisation in the world, has been criticized numerous times as being too bureaucratic, too slow and too incompetent in solving urgent humaniatarian or political crisis situations, examples being Rwanda, Darfur, solving the conflict between Israel and Palestine, Kosovo, Iraq.

The first steps towards the Concert of Democracies was the failure of the UN Security Council resolution condemning the Second Russo-Georgian War. As a result, U.S. President Barack Obama, a critic of the handicap of the UN and a supporter of a "League of Democracies", met with the heads of government from several NATO countries, where a vote to give aid to Georgia succeeded. This allowed the inclusion of United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Belgium, The Netherlands, Romania and other non-NATO allies of the United States to assist in the (as the media called it) Georgia Marshall Plan. On December 16, he said that the coalition of nations that agreed at the NATO summit was part of a new "League of Democracies".

In 2012, Obama negotiated with democratic countries around the world, trying to get democratically elected governments to participate in an organisation in which only democracies could join, and which would be free from the problems that dictatorships has in the United Nations. On June 11-13, 2012, just after the G8 summit in Padere Island, Texas, Obama and the heads of government of France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Italy, Canada, Spain, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. At this summit, the participating countries agreed that they would continue negotiations for a organisation for Democracies, with a conference planned to take place within a year.

On February 15, 2013, the Conference on International Organization began in Annapolis Maryland, attended by democratic governments involved in drafting the Charter of a Concert of Democracies. The League of Democracies officially came into existence on March 30, 2013 upon the ratification of the Treaty of Geneva by the attending governments, including three permanent members of the UN Security Council — France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The first meetings of the Concert of Democracies, with 49 nations represented, took place in Geneva between February 10-12, 2013.

The Charter for an International Democratic Alliance

As a charter, it is a constituent treaty, and all members are bound by its articles. Furthermore, the Charter states that the obligations to the League of Democracies are to exist within regional and global institutions like the United Nations. However, should the UN of other organizations fail, the Consert of Democracies should function independently as a focal point for efforts to strengthen liberty under law around the world.

1. The Parties pledge never to use military force, and never to plan to use military force, against one other except in the event of a coup or revolution within a specified member nation.
2. The Parties commit to hold multiparty, free, and fair elections at regular intervals.
3. The Parties commit to uphold internationally recognized civil and political rights for all their citizens and to make these rights enforceable by an independent judiciary.
4. The Parties recognize that sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their own citizens from avoidable catastrophe - mass murder and rape, ethnic cleansing by forcible expulsion and terror, and deliberative starvation and exposure to disease - but that when they are unwilling or unable to do so, that responsibility must be borne by the international community.
5. The Parties undertake to contribute to the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by promoting liberal democracy as a model of government and by bringing about a better understanding throughout the world of the principles upon which democratic institutions are founded.
6. The Treaty does not affect, and shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way, the rights and obligations under the U.N. Charter of the Parties which are members of the United Nations, or the primary responsibility of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security.
7. Action pursuant to article four and consistent with the purposes of the United Nations, including the use of military force, may be approved by a two-thirds majority of the parties.
8. Action to enforce the purposes of the United Nations in the wake of a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression, may be approved by a two-third majority of the parties.


The Concert of Democracies is ultimately governed by its 56 member states. However, the Charter of the Concert of Democracies, and other agreements, outline how decisions are to be made within COD. The senior permanent member of each delegation is known as the Permanent Representative and is generally a senior civil servant or an experienced ambassador (and holding that diplomatic rank).

The Concert of Democracies made during the signing of the Treaty of Geneva an agreement made with the United Nations, which allows them to use the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland as the organisation's headquarters.

Three official languages of the Concert of Democraties, used in intergovernmental meetings and documents, are English, French and Spanish, while the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French.

Democratic Council

The Democratic Council is the main deliberative assembly of the United Nations. It is composed of all 56 members, which sends delegations which participates in regular yearly sessions headed by the Secretary-General. All members have the opportunity to address the council. Traditionally, the Secretary-General makes the first statement.

Together the Permanent Members form the Democratic Council (DC), a body which meets together at least once a week and has effective political authority and powers of decision in the Consert. From time to time the Council also meets at higher levels involving Foreign Ministers, Defence Ministers or Heads of State or Government (HOSG) and it is at these meetings that major decisions regarding the Concert’s policies are generally taken. However, it is worth noting that the Council has the same authority and powers of decision-making, and its decisions have the same status and validity, at whatever level it meets. Summits also form a further venue for decisions on complex issues, such as enlargement.

When the Council votes on important questions, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required. Each nation represented at the Council table or on any of its subordinate committees retains complete sovereignty and responsibility for its own decisions. Examples of important questions include: recommendations on peace and security; admission, suspension, and expulsion of members; decisions on whether to intervene politically or militarily, impose sanctions; and budgetary matters. All other questions are decided by majority vote. The Council may make recommendations on matters regarding freedom, human rights and democratcy to the UN, as the Charter specifies.


The COD Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, assisted by a staff of international civil servants worldwide. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by the Democratic Council for their meetings, and as well the United Nations, to which most of the time it is subordinated. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Democratic Council. The Charter for a Concert of Democracies provides that the staff be chosen by application of the "highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity," with due regard for the importance of recruiting on a wide geographical basis.

The Charter provides that the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any authority other than the COD unless other specified. Each COD member country is enjoined to respect the character of the Secretariat and not seek to influence its staff. The Secretary-General alone is responsible for staff selection.

The Secretary-General's duties include promoting the values of freedom and democracy worldwide, organizing international conferences, administering military/peacekeeping operations and political decisions by the Democratic Council should the UN of other organizations fail, gathering information on the implementation of Democratic Council (and UN Security Council) decisions, and consulting with member governments regarding various initiatives. The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Democratic Council any matter that, in his or her opinion, may threaten international peace, security and strengthen liberty under law around the world.


The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who acts as the de facto spokesman and leader of the COD. The Secretary-General is appointed for a four-year term, with a two term limit. The current Secretary-General is Sérgio Vieira de Mello of Brazil. Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will take over as Secretary-General on March 30, 2018.

The position is defined in the COD Charter as the organization's "chief administrative officer", but the Charter also states that the Secretary-General can bring to the Democratic Council's attention "any matter which in his opinion may threaten the international peace, security, freedom and democracy". The position has a dual role of an administrator of the COD organization, and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between nations and to global issues when the United Nations is unable to act or anaware of an situation.

The Secretary-General is appointed by the Democratic Council, after being nominated by one of the member states. All nations can name their candidate for the post. There are no specific criteria for the post, but it is generally accepted that the post shall be appointed based on geographical rotation.

Role of NATO

As the COD is obligated to exist within regional and global institutions like the United Nations under normal circumstances, this also applies to NATO within the COD. Since the establishment of the Concert of Democracies the NATO alliance has had an important role, due to the fact that all members of NATO also are members or applying for membership in the Concert of Democracies. However, the North Atlantic Charter only applies for NATO member states, and thus does not apply for those nations who are members of the COD, but not NATO. For example, while NATO members are obliged to assist the United States in the War on Terrorism due to the invokement of Article V of the North Atlantic Charter, non-NATO members like Brazil, Sweden or Japan are obliged to support NATO due to their membership in the COD, unless an agreement between the two parties has been made.

As a result, NATO has operated under a COD mandate in several international operations. In 2015, the operation to stop the genocide by the Sudanese government in Darfur (Operation Infinite Justice) was led by troops of NATO members, commanded by NATO under a mandate of the Concert of Democracies, aided by the Mideast Federation.


With the addition of Albania, Afghanistan and Iraq on April 5, 2009, there are currently 55 member states of the Concert of Democracies.

Note: Member states with background color and bold font are original members.

Member state Date of admission Head of government at admission Current Head of government Notes
Argentina 2013-03-30 Néstor Kirchner Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Australia 2013-03-30 John Howard John Howard
Austria 2005-03-30 Wolfgang Schüssel Werner Faymann
Belgium 2013-03-30 Guy Verhofstadt Herman Van Rompuy
Brazil 2013-03-30 Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
Bulgaria 2013-03-30 Simeon Sakskoburggotski Sergei Stanishev
Canada 2013-03-30 Paul Martin Stephen Harper
Chile 2013-03-30 Ricardo Lagos Michelle Bachelet
Colombia 2013-03-30 Álvaro Uribe Vélez Álvaro Uribe Vélez
Costa Rica 2013-03-30 Abel Pacheco Óscar Arias
Croatia 2013-03-30 Ivo Sanader Ivo Sanader
Czech Republic 2013-03-30 Stanislav Gross Mirek Topolánek
Denmark 2013-03-30 Anders Fogh Rasmussen Lars Løkke Rasmussen
Estonia 2013-03-30 Juhan Parts Andrus Ansip
Germany 2013-03-30 Gerhard Schröder Angela Merkel
Greece 2013-03-30 Kóstas Alexándrou Karamanlís Kóstas Alexándrou Karamanlís
Finland 2013-03-30 Matti Vanhanen Matti Vanhanen
France 2013-03-30 Jacques Chirac Nicolas Sarkozy
Hungary 2013-03-30 Ferenc Gyurcsány Ferenc Gyurcsány
Iceland 2013-03-30 Halldór Ásgrímsson Geir Haarde
India 2013-03-30 Manmohan Singh Manmohan Singh
Indonesia 2013-03-30 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Ireland 2013-03-30 Patrick Bartholomew Ahern Brian Cowen
Italy 2013-03-30 Silvio Berlusconi Silvio Berlusconi
Israel 2013-03-30 Ariel Sharon Benjamin Netanyahu
Japan 2013-03-30 Jun'ichirō Koizumi Taro Aso
Latvia 2013-03-30 Aigars Kalvītis Ivars Godmanis
Lithuania 2013-03-30 Algirdas Brazauskas Andrius Kubilius
Liechtenstein 2013-03-30 Otmar Hasler Otmar Hasler
Luxembourg 2013-03-30 Jean-Claude Juncker Jean-Claude Juncker
Mexico 2013-03-30 Vicente Fox Quesada Felipe de Jesus Calderón Hinojosa
Mongolia 2013-03-30 Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj Sanjaagiin Bayar
Netherlands 2013-03-30 Jan Peter Balkenende Jan Peter Balkenende
New Zealand 2013-03-30 Helen Clark John Key
Norway 2013-03-30 Kjell Magne Bondevik Jens Stoltenberg
Panama 2013-03-30 Martín Torrijos Martín Torrijos
Peru 2013-03-30 Alejandro Toledo Alejandro Toledo
Poland 2013-03-30 Marek Belka Donald Tusk
Republic of Korea 2013-03-30 Roh Moo-hyun Lee Myung-bak
Romania 2013-03-30 Călin Popescu-Tăriceanu Emil Boc
South Africa 2013-03-30 Thabo Mbeki Kgalema Motlanthe
Sweden 2013-03-30 Göran Persson Fredrik Reinfeldt
Switzerland 2013-03-30 Samuel Schmid Hans-Rudolf Merz
Slovenia 2013-03-30 Janez Janša Borut Pahor
Slovakia 2013-03-30 Mikuláš Dzurinda Robert Fico
Turkey 2013-03-30 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
United Kingdom 2013-03-30 Tony Blair Tony Blair
United States 2013-03-30 Barack Obama Joe Biden
Uruguay 2013-03-30 Tabaré Vázquez Tabaré Vázquez
Ghana 2015-04-10 John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor John Atta-Mills First expansion
Georgia 2015-04-10 Zurab Noghaideli Grigol Mgaloblishvili First expansion
Montenegro 2015-04-10 Milo Đukanović Milo Đukanović First expansion
Ukraine 2015-04-10 Viktor Yushchenko Viktor Yushchenko First expansion
Afghanistan 2017-04-05 Hamid Karzai Hamid Karzai Second expansion
Albania 2017-04-05 Sali Berisha Sali Berisha Second expansion
Iraq 2017-04-05 Nouri al-Maliki Nouri al-Maliki

Second expansion

Future expansion

Future expansion is currently a topic of debate in many countries that has introduced democratic reforms, freedom of speech and free and open elections. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Thailand has applied for membership, pending decision at the COD summit in Zurich, Switzerland in 2009. Other countries which have a stated goal of eventually joining include Cuba, Kenya, Liberia, Lebanon, F.Y.R.O.M., Kosovo, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Jordan, Arabia, Oman, The UAS, Yemen, Lebanon, Qatar, Somoliland, Somolia, Sudan, and Greenland.

List of officials

Secretaries General
# Name Country Duration
1 Sérgio Vieira de Mello Brazil March 30, 2013 — March 30, 2018
2 Hillary Rodham Clinton United States March 30, 2018 — March 30, 2023
3 Anders Fogh Rasmussen(assigned) Denmark March 30, 2023 —

Deputy Secretaries General
# Name Country Duration
1 Alessandro Minuto Rizzo Italy March 30, 2013 — August 11, 2018
2 Dominique de Villepin France August 12, 2018 — March 30, 2023
4 Jonas Gahr Støre (assigned) Norway March 30, 2023 —

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