Diplomacy, nor war, the way to democracy, says former French PM Dominique de Villepin

Democracy is most likely to be achieved through diplomacy not by force or by war, says the former French prime minister  Dominique de Villepin.

Mr de Villepin, speaking at the 14th Doha Forum last week, said that history had proved there was a link between democracy being imposed on a country and the deterioration and destruction of that country.

Mr de Villepin cited Iraq in 2003 as an example in which the western world “thought through force they can create democracy that not only builds democratic and stable institutions but also leads to peace,” he said.

But he said history had shown military intervention had been a failure. “For politicians, it is easier to go to war than implement peace because the military people follow orders but democracy is more complex than politics,” he said.

“...I would like to see more Western democracies send more professors, doctors and lawmakers rather than their armies to all the countries of the world and this is the only way to further democracy.’’

The forum is organised annually by the Qatari government to discuss issues regarding democracy, development and free trade in the Middle-East and the world.

More than 600 delegates from 80 countries were flown into Qatar at the expense of Qatar's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take part in the three-day talks this year which discussed the crisis in Syria, human rights, building democracies and extremist religious and sectarian conflicts.

Mr de Villepin told the forum that ‘‘Second Age Democracy’’ was something that was not imposed but shared through procedures that allow countries to evolve through a historical phase.

He said democracy required time, debates and discussions and needed to be shared among neighbouring countries if it was to work.

But he said that there was no one model of democracy for all countries and it must be adapted to local circumstances, taking into consideration cultures and civilisations.

Natalie O’Brien travelled to Doha as a guest of the Qatari government.

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