6 Jul 2012

Enhancing democracy a high priority for Club de Madrid gathering

12:56 pm on 6 July 2012

Enhancing and enabling democracy in the region is a high priority for a group of former democratic leaders meeting in French Polynesia today.

The Club de Madrid is holding its first meeting in the Pacific and has brought together former presidents and prime ministers of countries like the Netherlands, Mauritius and Sri Lanka with local leaders and experts.

The group's Vice-President Dame Jenny Shipley says many of the former leaders attending have managed countries moving to democracy or with complex cultural and religious issues.

"We also understand the complexity of those journeys and we do not seek to put ourselves as judge and jury but we most certainly encourage and prompt and enable and share experience so that people will make progress forward."

Dame Jenny says some of the gathering's findings will be taken to the Pacific Islands Forum meeting in August.