Declaration of the International Cooperation Platform "Civic Solidarity"

Over the last decade that has been marked by the “war on terror” and global economic crisis, from Vancouver to Vladivostok we have witnessed a rising tide of authoritarianism, violence, xenophobia, and populism. Throughout the region and beyond, the world is witnessing serious violations of fundamental human rights. Realpolitik considerations and security concerns increasingly prevail in international politics over human rights principles and democratic values, leading to growing public cynicism towards democratic institutions and impunity of autocratic regimes. These developments pave the way for new undemocratic alliances and growing divisions in inter-governmental organizations, making them unable to act collectively in response to new challenges at the global and national level

In contrast to these worrying trends, civic activists across the world continue to raise their voices demanding justice, democracy, respect for human dignity and fundamental freedoms. This gives us hope and inspiration.

In the face of these challenges and recognizing the central role of civil society in strengthening human rights, the rule of law and democracy, we, the representatives of independent civic groups from across the OSCE region, are coming together to establish the international  cooperation platform “Civic Solidarity"

Through the “Civic Solidarity” we will work together towards the following goals:

      • strengthening the rule of law to uphold and advance fundamental human rights and freedoms;  
      • strengthening mutual support and solidarity between civic activists;
      • enhancing the role and capacity of civil society in decision making processes at national and international levels;
      • improving public oversight of state institutions and international organizations to ensure democratic governance;
      • lowering the levels of xenophobia and intolerance in the region.

We will accomplish these goals by undertaking the following joint activities

    • mobilize civil society organizations in the region to create and advance common positions on human dimension issues;
    • create and promote new international norms and standards in the field of human rights and the rule of law, while strengthening the existing principles and approaches;
    • advocate for institutional reforms of intergovernmental organizations, including the UN, the OSCE, the Council of Europe and the European Union, based on joint civil society recommendations;
    • build broad alliances among civil society activists in the region to address common problems.

By adopting this Declaration, we reiterate our commitment to the following values:

    • human rights and human dignity as enshrined in international human rights law, including standards established in the OSCE commitments, the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
    • non-violence and the culture of peace;
    • supremacy of human rights and freedoms over  state interests.

The Platform will build upon the achievements and traditions of the international Helsinki movement which for several decades played a key role in advancing the goals and principles of the Helsinki process.

The Platform is open to independent civil society organizations from the region that support this Declaration and are ready to work together to achieve its goals.