The United States is committed to advancing democracy worldwide. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that by using diplomacy and working with its democratic allies, the United States can help "create a balance of power in the world that favors human liberty" and "advance a forward strategy of freedom." Recent events, Ms. Rice says, show how democratic advances in one part of the world can influence developments elsewhere:
"As we have seen, the advance of freedom in one country or region gives strength and a widened sense of responsibility and possibility to those working for the cause of democratic reform in others. How could one not have been impressed by the people of Afghanistan standing in long lines along dusty roads to cast a vote for president? How could one not have been impressed in the Ukraine by the Orange Revolution or in Georgia by the Rose Revolution? Or in the Palestinian territories, where Palestinians turned out to vote for a man who says that the time is over for the armed intifadah and the time for peace with Israel has come? How could you not have been impressed with the people of Lebanon or the people of Kyrgyzstan who are taking their own future into their own hands? And particularly, how could you not have been impressed with the people of Iraq, who face down terrorists, who face down murderers, for the chance to vote for a better future?"
Cooperation between the United States and its allies is crucial in the effort to promote democracy. An example of such cooperation is the Forum for the Future, set up by the Group of Eight industrialized nations. The purpose is to create, in Ms. Rice's words, a "partnership of progress" between democratic countries and the nations of the region extending from Morocco to Pakistan.
The Forum will serve to encourage democratization, economic reform, the growth of civil society, and opportunity for all through quality education. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says all these elements "are critical to shaping a stable and prosperous future."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government.