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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Strategic Goal 7: Democracy and Human Rights

FY 2005 Performance and Accountability Highlights
Bureau of Resource Management
November 2005



Advance the growth of democracy and good governance, including civil society,
the rule of law, respect for human rights, and religious freedom


I. Public Benefit


Photo showing Ukrainians demonstrating outside the Parliament in Kiev, November, 2004.

Ukrainians demonstrate outside the Parliament in Kiev, November, 2004. AP/Wide World Photo

America's experience affirms our conviction that all people can live and prosper in peace when guided by a commitment to freedom and democracy. Protecting human rights and promoting democracy is a cornerstone of a U.S. foreign policy that seeks to end oppression, combat terrorism, and advocate democratic ideals and freedoms worldwide. Together with our allies, like-minded governments, and partners in the public and private sectors, we employ a range of diplomatic and program tools to promote democracy and human rights worldwide. Our partners include the United Nations, where the U.S. led the effort to establish a UN Democracy Fund in 2005. We seek opportunities to encourage and support human rights advocates and policy makers to facilitate positive change in countries that routinely ignore international human rights. This principle guides our decisions about international cooperation, the character of our foreign assistance, the allocation of resources, and our actions in international fora. The Department's annual report, Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record, catalogues these combined efforts, strategies, policies and programs to promote democracy and human rights. While the U.S. plays a leading role to promote democracy and human rights, the Department recognizes that these values are not uniquely American. Democratization must ultimately be a process driven by a society's citizens. Toward that end, the Department works to ensure that democratic reforms reflect a representative political process.

II. Performance Summary

The table below shows the performance rating distribution of the FY 2005 results for the Democracy and Human Rights strategic goal.


Strategic Goal Results Achieved for FY 2005

  Significantly Below Target Below Target On Target Above Target Significantly Above Target Totals
Number of Results 1 4 6 4 0 15
Percent of Total 6% 27% 40% 27% 0% 100%


III. Resources Invested


Human Resources
(Direct Funded Positions)

Performance Goal FY 2004 FY 2005
Democratic Systems and Practices 526 531
Respect for Human Rights 296 299
Total 822 830

Budget Authority
(Dollars in Millions)

Performance Goal FY 2004 FY 2005
Democratic Systems and Practices $790 $1,123
Respect for Human Rights $310 $377
Total $1,100 $1,500


IV. Performance Analysis

Performance Trends. The most notable trend in democracy and human rights is the increase in democratic activity around the globe. Freedom House's freedom index scores and the increasing number of elections held or planned in countries with scores "not free" or "partly free" under that index are examples of this activity. However, the Department must ensure that such elections are free and fair, and that these activities create institutions that reflect and respond to the will of those governed. An encouraging sign is the steady increase in political participation by women (particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan), which is the first step toward broader political discourse.

Outcome-level Results. The Department made progress supporting democratization and women's rights in Afghanistan and the Middle East. High-level outcomes include the appointment of several women to new cabinet positions in Afghanistan and Iraq and peaceful elections in Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Egypt. All of the programs in these areas performed at or above target in FY 2005.

Results Significantly Above or Below Target. No results scored significantly above target. The Department's pressure and support for political freedom yielded a marked increase in elections—many of them the first of their kind—in the Middle East in FY 2005. The Department scored significantly below target in its ability to use Economic Support Funds in a timely manner. The Department must continue to press for political liberty, religious freedom, and human rights in bilateral and multilateral discussions and to continue its support for civil society groups and independent media.

Resources Invested. The Department continues to support important democracy and human rights activities. In FY 2005, the Department allocated $1.5 billion, or an estimated 6% of its budget to this strategic goal. This represents a significant increase of 36% from FY 2004.


FY 2005 Performance Report Card

The indicators below are representative of the Department's priorities and overall performance for this Strategic Goal. The FY 2005 PAR contains all indicators with detailed performance information.

PERFORMANCE GOAL ONE: Measures Adopted to Develop Transparent and Accountable Democratic Institutions, Laws, and Political Processes and Practices
Progress Toward Constitutional Democracy in Afghanistan
Rating On Target
  1. New National Government takes office with a clear popular mandate. Preparations for local/regional elections move forward in accordance with relationship defined in Constitution.
  2. A select number of women occupy positions of local authority (i.e. at the city level or within the central government at the judicial, legislative, or executive level) inside Kabul.
  1. Presidential elections held in October 2004. More than 10 million Afghans registered and 8 million participated in the election, 40 percent of whom were women. Provincial Council and National Assembly elections scheduled for September 18, 2005. 1.69 million new voters registered for upcoming parliamentary elections.
  2. Two women are Cabinet Ministers (Minister of Women's Affairs and Minister of Martyrs and Disabled); first female governor appointed (Bamiyan).
Impact With a democratically elected president and new government in place, successful National Assembly elections were held on September 18th, which further solidified Afghanistan's progress toward democracy.
Status of Democracy in the Middle East
Rating Above Target
Target Municipal elections in Tunisia are held as scheduled and are free and fair. Presidential elections in Yemen are held as scheduled and are free and fair.

Elections that were scheduled to date have occurred and were free, fair and competitive. Unanticipated free and fair elections also occurred in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia held its first municipal elections and elections are now scheduled in additional municipalities. Many other countries have scheduled elections and through Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Department will work to ensure they are free, fair and competitive, including:

  • Senate elections in Tunisia,
  • Parliamentary elections in Egypt,
  • Parliamentary elections in Lebanon,
  • Municipal and parliamentary elections in West Bank/Gaza.
Impact Holding free, fair, competitive elections is the first step in achieving participatory democracy and opens opportunity for increased democracy programming including political party and civil society strengthening.


PERFORMANCE GOAL TWO: Universal Standards Increase Respect for Human Rights, Including the Rights of Women and Ethnic Minorities, Religious Freedom, Worker Rights, and the Reduction of Child Labor
Level of Engagement with Foreign Governments and NGOs to Promote and Advocate on Behalf of Religious Freedom in Keeping with Foreign Policy Directives such as the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA)
Rating Below Target
  1. The U.S. builds a coalition of like-minded countries that actively cooperates to promote international religious freedom issues in multilateral forums.
  2. More prisoners are released because of U.S. Government intervention.
  3. At least two additional bilateral or regional international religious freedom initiatives are undertaken laying the groundwork for significant policy changes in those countries or regions.
  1. Initiative begun with Saudi Arabia on religious freedom issues; efforts on Uzbekistan and Eritrea as part of broader international efforts on human rights in those countries; continued religious freedom dialogue with China.
  2. Religious prisoners were released in Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, China, and other countries.
  3. Intensive diplomacy with Vietnam resulted in a binding agreement. Commitments were secured on religious freedom in key areas of concern. Initial work by international religious freedom Office to explore possibilities for working on religious freedom issues in appropriate multilateral forums, including the UN.
  1. Initiatives with Vietnam and Saudi Arabia significantly raised the profile of religious freedom issues in these countries.
  2. Efforts to develop constructive working relationships with the EU, the UN Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom, and the OSCE have improved multilateral cooperation on religious freedom.
  3. Successful U.S. diplomatic efforts to win release of religious prisoners has discouraged the practice of imprisonment in some countries; demonstrated U.S. commitment to religious communities to address the issue; and opened an avenue for talks on systemic changes that may help remove the threat of imprisonment on religious grounds.
Reason for Shortfall Bilateral initiatives (Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, China, Russia, and others) proved to be more labor-intensive than initially anticipated. Production of the Congressionally-mandated Annual Report on Religious Freedom took personnel away from other priority initiatives because staffing was not at full complement.
Steps to Improve IRF is in the process of hiring additional staff, which may include 1-2 people who would be devoted full time to multilateral initiatives.


Photo showing an election official emptying a ballot box in front of election observers in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, June 2005.

Middle East Partnership Initiative

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) made strong strides to bolster democracy in FY 2005. Nearly 100 Arab women legal professionals from sixteen countries participated in the launch of the Arab Women's Legal Network in Amman, Jordan in July 2005. MEPI quickly responded to the spring 2005 elections in Lebanon by mounting a program to increase electoral transparency through effective monitoring, public opinion polls and a nationwide voter education campaign. In Egypt, MEPI supported civil society organizations in domestic election monitoring, youth training to develop advocacy skills, and voter education ahead of fall 2005 elections. Additionally, MEPI launched multiple projects to strengthen the role of indigenous civil society organizations in North Africa and the Middle East, particularly in the Persian Gulf.

An election official empties a ballot box in front of election observers in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, June 2005. AP/Wide World Photo


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