NATO Secretary General: ‘Democracy is More than Just a Ballot Box’

"NATO is a community of values"

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  NATO is far more than a military Alliance. NATO is a community of values. It is a family of nations that believes in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. . . .

I also hope to see greater tolerance. The violence we saw on the streets of Tbilisi last month – on the 17th of May – has no place in democratic societies. The right to gather peacefully and to freely express one’s opinion is fundamental to democracy.

Because as well as standing for the values of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, NATO also stands for human rights, including the rights of minorities. These values are not Western. They are universal. . . .

[D]emocracy is more than just a ballot box. A democracy is more than majority rule. A mature democracy is also about demonstrating that pluralism, political cohabitation, tolerance and protection of minorities are firmly rooted. 

Excerpts from keynote speech by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen at the National Library of Georgia, Tbilisi.   (photo: NATO)

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