Democratic Party Platform of 2000


Seizing Opportunities

Forward Engagement requires investment. But while international assistance and government aid are important—we should do more. There is no way to donate enough money to the parts of the world that are most deeply affected by war, lawlessness, disease, or disorder. What applies to us, applies to them: the only way for them to make real progress is to encourage investment by promoting growth that is sustainable and broadly shared.

Latin America and the Caribbean must continue to be a focal point of our efforts. We believe that increased cooperation and trade with our partners in this hemisphere can reduce poverty and the reliance on the drug trade, and ultimately lead to economic development, stability, and prosperity. We have made great strides by helping avert a financial crisis in Mexico. Mexico’s ongoing shift to a mature democracy, as demonstrated by her recent election, makes it increasingly possible for us to visualize even stronger relations and more effective relationships between ourselves, Mexico, and Canada, building on our growing economic ties to address environmental and social issues of common concern. A Gore Administration will build on this possibility in order to assure ourselves and the people of the Americas a future of democracy, prosperity, and security built on mutual trust and respect. At the same time, we should continue to safeguard environmental standards, food safety, and worker protections by refusing to allow cross-border trucking and bus operations until appropriate safety and worker fairness standards have been met.

Prosperity and peace in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa will only be possible when those regions are fully integrated into the global economy. In Asia, we are working to promote fair trade with Japan and China. In the Middle East, we are promoting regional trade, particularly among Israel, Jordan, and Egypt. We must continue our work to reach out to moderate Arab states and we must intensify our effort to foster closer ties to the Islamic World.

With respect to sub-Saharan Africa, the Democratic Party believes in supporting what South African President Thabo Mbeki has called "an African renaissance." Notwithstanding this region’s many problems, we see the example of South Africa as a great beacon of hope. We are encouraged by the restoration of democracy in Nigeria, the long-term continuation of a stable democratic system in Botswana, and Mozambique’s courageous efforts of recovery after years of civil war. Even in the midst of her continuing problems, we see in Zimbabwe’s recent election hope for the survival of the ideal of a multi-ethnic society. We regard the recently enacted African Growth and Opportunity Act as a major contribution toward the future.

We believe that the United Nations can play an integral role in our policy of Forward Engagement. We understand that the institution needs both resources and reform if it is to play that role, and we pledge to take the lead on both fronts.

Prosperity Abroad. Globalization must be a tide that lifts all boats, not a wave that overwhelms the most vulnerable among us. We support increasing our investment in the International Labor Organization and expanding the use of trade preferences that are tied to improvement in core labor standards. We also want to reverse the widening gap between rich and poor and nations, which is why Al Gore and the Democratic Party back debt forgiveness for the world’s poorest nations.

We must seek to reform international institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank so that core labor standards, human rights, and protections of the environment are integral to their policies and practices. These institutions must also improve their transparency, accountability, and level of consultation with civil society so that citizens around the world can both understand the basis for their decisions and contribute to them. We should use our influence in multilateral development institutions to not only provide emergency assistance for stabilizing economies and to create social safety nets, including unemployment insurance and health care, but also to give people the skills, education, and training they need to compete in the New Economy.

We must make a special effort to help women and children in societies that are devastated by war, disease and poverty. Women are traditionally the backbone of the family. We must also make a special effort to hear women when they rise up courageously to resist or end war in their communities. They are in a sense the front lines—the first affected—by the horrors of war and the misery of disease and poverty. We demand the United States Congress pass the Convention to Eliminate all forms of Discrimination Against Women which has been consistently blocked by the Republican Senate. And children represent the future. When we lose our children, we lose the promise of a future. Our investment programs must be more targeted toward women. And we must end the scourge of child labor by helping societies create educational opportunities for children and, more importantly, economic alternatives to employing the young.

Promoting Democracy, Human Rights, Rule of Law, and Civil Society. American values and freedoms are a beacon unto nations, and we should use the power of our ideals to foster democracy, human rights, rule of law, and civil society throughout the world. The Democratic Party believes that America must continue to work closely with other nations, as well as non-governmental organizations to promote these goals. We aim to rededicate ourselves to the defense of democracy in the Americas at a moment when it is being brought into question in Peru and absent on the island of Cuba. We will continue to work with Haiti to deepen the roots of democracy that we helped replant. We will continue to press for human rights, the rule of law, and political freedom. We will continue to support the spread of democracy across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and the development of judiciary, legal systems, media and civil society organizations.

To accomplish this, we need the right tools. Al Gore and the Democratic Party support continued funding for the National Endowment for Democracy, Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Marti, and other efforts to promote democracy and the free flow of ideas. We will build on our successful Reinventing Government program, led by Al Gore, to help other nations make their governments more responsive, more open, and more effective. We strongly support international educational exchanges. The students who come to America to study here—at the best academic institutions in the world—learn about our democratic values and institutions, our entrepreneurial skills, and our culture. They learn that Americans are noble dreamers remaining ever inclusive.

* * * * * *

Forty years ago, John F. Kennedy came to Los Angeles to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president. In doing so, he pointed America towards new frontiers at home and abroad. In the year 2000, Al Gore comes to Los Angeles to accept that same nomination and renew our party’s determination to accept big challenges and make bold choices. At the edge of a new century, Democrats stand united in our determination to offer prosperity to all who are willing to work for it, to provide progress to all who are willing to live by the values that have made America great, and to bring peace to all those willing to embrace democracy all over the world.

For eight years, the Democratic Party’s new thinking has helped America reach unparalleled heights of prosperity, progress, and peace. Now, we say that this is the time to move forward—not to go back. Now, we say that Democrats have just yet begun to fight for a better America and a brighter future. Now, we say to America, "You ain’t seen nothing yet."


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Chicago: "Seizing Opportunities," Democratic Party Platform of 2000 in Democratic Party Platform Committee, Democratic Party Platform (Washington, D.C.: Www.Dems2000.Com/ Abouttheconvention/03_Partyplat.Html, 2000) Original Sources, accessed September 29, 2022,

MLA: . "Seizing Opportunities." Democratic Party Platform of 2000, in Democratic Party Platform Committee, Democratic Party Platform (Washington, D.C.: Www.Dems2000.Com/ Abouttheconvention/03_Partyplat.Html, 2000), Original Sources. 29 Sep. 2022.

Harvard: , 'Seizing Opportunities' in Democratic Party Platform of 2000. cited in , Democratic Party Platform Committee, Democratic Party Platform (Washington, D.C.: Www.Dems2000.Com/ Abouttheconvention/03_Partyplat.Html, 2000). Original Sources, retrieved 29 September 2022, from