The Parliamentary Forum for Democracy has its roots in discussions between various international democracy promotion organizations and members of parliament from a variety of countries.
During these discussions it was noted that although there were many different democracy promotion organizations and inter-parliamentary organizations, there was no single organization which linked together parliamentarians from different democratic countries who shared a strong interest in strengthening and promoting democracy. From these initial discussions a strong conviction developed among those party to the discussions that a global coalition of democratically elected parliamentarians could be a powerful force for strengthening and promoting democracy worldwide.
When Lithuania took the Presidency of the Community of Democracies in 2010 it decided that the creation of a Parliamentary Forum for Democracy would be one of the key priorities of its Presidency, in order to ensure a more active parliamentary dimension in the CoD and other global democracy support efforts, such as the World Movement for Democracy. On 12 March 2010, the twentieth anniversary of the restoration of Lithuania’s Independence, the PFD was launched and its first meeting held. 43 members of parliament from 18 countries, attended this first meeting and adopted the ‘Vilnius Declaration’, committing themselves “to work together to strengthen democracy where it is weak and invigorate even where it is longstanding, to promote the peace, development and human rights in their respective countries and around the world.”
Since this first meeting the PFD has held several subsequent meetings in different cities. At these meetings a number of powerful resolutions in support of democracy were passed, and the structure and secretarial arrangements of the PFD were finalised. With these essential organisational features in place, the PFD is now working on a number of democracy support activities, and has mobilised its members to speak out on a variety democracy issues.