Foreign Ministry welcomes decision to suspend Mali from CoD Governing Council

Foreign Affairs Minister Bogdan Aurescu welcomes the decision to suspend the Republic of Mali from the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies (CoD) in a process initiated at the Extraordinary Meeting of the CoD Governing Council chaired by the Romanian top diplomat, in the context of Romania's holding the Presidency of the Community of Democracies. This move comes amid worrisome democratic slippages in Mali, which run counter to the principles of the Warsaw Declaration and have led to the arrest by the military power of civilian leaders - interim President Ndaw and Prime Minister Ouane, who were later forced to resign, the Foreign Ministry said in a release. Thus, on the occasion of the Extraordinary Meeting of June 11, Bogdan Aurescu firmly called for a proactive stance of the members of the CoD Governing Council against democratic backsliding in the Republic of Mali, emphasizing the CoD's responsibility to react promptly to such events, as well as for joining the efforts of the international community to support the return to constitutional order of the Republic of Mali and the restoration of legitimate civilian authorities. Thus, following the vote on the proposal to suspend the Republic of Mali as a member of the CoD Governing Council, the member states of the respective decision-making body decided to suspend the Republic of Mali, a CoD founding state, from the CoD Governing Council starting on Tuesday, until the restoration of the rule of law and constitutional order in this state. The Foreign Affairs Ministry reaffirms "Romania's strong support for human rights, democracy and the rule of law and reiterates its support for the Malian people in their efforts for a true democratic path." In his turn, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies Thomas E. Garrett assured of CoD's commitment to support the Republic of Mali in the process of restoring democratic order, including for the organization of free and fair elections and under the prospect of providing assistance to a democratically elected government to meet the criteria for the Republic of Mali re-acquiring membership of the CoD Governing Council. Romania is holding the Presidency of the Community of Democracies between September 2019 and September 2022, as its term was extended on May 18, 2021 from the initial period 2019 - 2021 due to the need to ensure the continuity and efficient management of CoD's activity, also as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic having affected the calendar and format of certain activities. Romania's main objectives as CoD Presidency are to facilitate the engagement of young people in democratic processes, to promote democracy globally as the only system that guarantees prosperity and sustainable development, and the relationship between democratic processes and information technology. The Community of Democracies, established in 2000 at the initiative of the U.S. with the signing of the Warsaw Declaration by 106 states, is the largest platform for debate and exchange of experience on global democracy. The Governing Council, which consists of 31 states including Romania (since 2011), is the main decision-making body of the Community of Democracies. The Republic of Mali is a founding member of the Community of Democracies and held the CoD Presidency over 2005 - 2007. In 2012 Mali was suspended for the first time from the CoD Governing Council in response to a military coup. Following the initial suspension, the CoD supported Mali's democratic reconstruction, so that the Republic of Mali was readmitted to the Governing Council in 2014. AGERPRES (RO - author: Oana Ghita, editor: Mihai Simionescu; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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