BERLIN, GERMANY—Top strategy officials from ten of the world’s leading democracies gathered yesterday in Berlin to discuss key challenges facing the rules-based international order.  At the seventh meeting of the D-10 Strategy Forum, policy planning and strategy officials and experts from North America, Europe, and Asia focused on the rise of autocratic challenges  and how democracies can better align in the face of a changing international order. 

The meeting took place amid evolving challenges to the global system, as well as the growing uncertainty about the role of the United States and Britain’s impending exit from the European Union.

Citing the unique role of the D-10, bound together through “fundamental democratic principles and values,” German State Secretary Andreas Michaelis opened the meeting by calling on members to “step up their game” if they want to play a role in shaping the 21st century order. “This is about defending today’s rules-based order as well as writing the new rules we need for the emerging world order,” he said.  Michaelis added, “Even though China may be rising, we are still in a much stronger position to make sure a liberal and rules-based international order prevails.” 

“In this time of uncertainty, the D-10 has become even more important as a venue for strategic dialogue,” said Ash Jain, Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, who leads coordination of the D-10 Strategy Forum.  “The meeting provided an opportunity for a frank and timely discussion about the state of our alliances and the need for more coordinated approaches to deal with global challenges.”
Participants in the D-10 (“Democracies 10”) –Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union—have been at the forefront of building and maintaining a rules-based democratic order. The German Foreign Office, in cooperation with the Atlantic Council and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), hosted the latest round of the D-10 Strategy Forum. 

Among the senior officials participating in the meeting were:

  • Mr. Armando Barucco, Head, Unit for Analysis, Planning and Historic Diplomatic Documentation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy
  • Mr. Hervé Delphin, Head, Strategic Planning Division, European External Action Service, European Union
  • Mr. Alexandre Escorcia, Deputy Head of Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, France
  • Mr. Sebastian Groth, Director of Policy Planning, Federal Foreign Office, Germany
  • Mr. Michael Kachel, Director, Strategic Analysis and Policy Section, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
  • Mr. Alexandre Lévêque, Director General, Strategic Foreign Policy, Global Affairs Canada, Canada
  • Dr. Sangyoon Ma, Director General, Policy Planning, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, South Korea
  • Mr. Yasushi Misawa, Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Japan in Germany, Japan
  • Dr. Liane Saunders, Director of Strategy and Strategic Programs Coordinator, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
  • Dr. Kiron Skinner, Director of Policy Planning, Department of State, United States

Separately, the Atlantic Council in February released a Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace, with the goal of rallying the democratic world on behalf of common values. Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former US national security advisor Stephen Hadley, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt, and former Japanese foreign minister Yoriko Kawaguchi are serving as co-chairs for this effort.  Several members of Congress and legislators in other leading democracies have endorsed the Declaration, which marks the launch of a new Atlantic Council initiative aimed at defending democracy and advancing a rules-based international order.  For a full list of signatories, see

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