The past few years have marked the beginning of a tumultuous period for global governance. Across the world, we have seen threats to international order and a disruption of longstanding political norms and values as authoritarians get smarter and persist undeterred. With authoritarianism on the rise in many of the world’s most strategically important regions, new questions emerge regarding the diffusion of power, the rise of sometimes violent nonstate actors, and the future role of the nation-state. Developing an appropriate strategy for the advancement of human rights and the support of nonviolent civil resistance movements is thus proving to be one of the most challenging policy dilemmas for the United States and other democracies.
On April 21, the Atlantic Council, NGD Partner, hosted a public discussion of these challenges in recognition of the release of its forthcoming publication, Is Authoritarianism Staging a Comeback? This discussion featured multiple leading experts on nonviolent civil resistance and authoritarian states, and explored the range of issues and case-studies examined within this book of essays.
Atlantic Council CEO and President Mr. Frederick Kempe began by moderating a discussion on countering authoritarianism between Dr. Peter Ackerman, Dr. Paula Dobriansky, and Mr. Damon Wilson. This was followed by a discussion of the issues raised in the book itself, featuring Adm. Dennis Blair (USN, Ret.), Dr. George A. Lopez, and Dr. Regine Spector, moderated by Dr. Mathew Burrows and Dr. Maria J. Stephen.
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will participate in the ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action’ Policy Dialogue on the 23rd of November. She will open the floor of the inaugural session ‘The Future of Democratic Governance’ with a keynote speech. Forty Club de Madrid Members and 100 renowned experts on democracy will analyze the quality of democracy during the three days event in Florence
Is democracy losing ground? Is it failing to protect human rights? Forty Club de Madrid members and 100 renowned experts on democracy from academia, multilateral and multi government organizations, think tanks, the private sector, and civil society will address these challenging questions and develop transformative ideas to foster democracy around the world
Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action is co-organized by the Club de Madrid and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and hosted by the European University Institute. Click here to see the program and preliminary list of participants
The main sponsors of the Policy dialogue are Humanity United, an organization dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom, and the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, devoted to social change philanthropy
Federica Mogherini High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will open the ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action’ Policy Dialogue on the 23rd of November with a keynote speech on ‘The Future of Democratic Governance’. Romano Prodi, Club de Madrid Member and former Prime Minister of Italy, will also participate in the inaugural session (and also during the rest of the gathering) with a reflection on the global and regional democratic trends and the relationship between democracy and economy. Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence, will welcome the participants to the Dialogue and to the city.
Vaira Vike-Freiberga, President of the Club de Madrid, Kerry Kennedy, President of the RFK Center For Justice and Human Rights, and Brigid Laffan, Director of the Global Governance Program at the European University Institute, will kick off the debates on the present, the future and the quality of democracy. Forty Club de Madrid members from every continent including, Kjell M. Bondevik (Norway); Felipe Calderón (Mexico); Kim Campbell (Canada); Felipe González (Spain); Ricardo Lagos (Chile); Chandrika Kumaratunga (Sri Lanka); Sadiq al Mahdi (Sudan); Olesegun Obasanjo (Nigeria); Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan) or Jigme Yoser Tingley (Buthan) will be joined by 100 high level experts in order to initiate the drafting of transformative democratic agendas and action orientated proposals to foster democracy in this challenging times.
Renowned international experts and practitioners, such as Larry Diamond from Stanford University and Professor JHH Weiler, President of the EUI; Roelf Meyer (former South African minister under F. W. De Klerk and Nelson Mandela and key facilitator of South Africa’s transition to democracy); Beatriz Merino (former Prime Minister of Peru); entrepreneurs and philanthropists like Mo Ibrahim and Steve Killelea or the Slifka Foundation; multi-government and multilateral institutions, (UN, OECD, SEGIB, Community of Democracies); human rights organizations (Human Rights Watch); civil society (OXFAM, Partnership for Change); academia (Berstelman Stiftung, IDEA, FLACSO, Carnegie Endowment); and the private sector (Microsoft) will all be represented.
This two-day gathering is not structured as a ‘typical’ conference: it will forego long speeches in favour of small-group dialogues that will serve to launch the 18-month multi-stakeholder Next Generation Project: a Club de Madrid-led response to signals of democratic decline in all regions of the world. The program is structured in few Plenary Sessions and several breakout time slots with different, regionally based ‘working groups’ where Club de Madrid Members, participating scholars and expert practitioners will engage in open, dynamic exchange of ideas.
The Club de Madrid and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center) have partnered to facilitate a discussion on the quality and the future of democracy. The meeting, to be hosted by the European University Institute in Florence on the 24th-25th of November, will bring together 40 Club de Madrid Members plus another 100 high level experts on democracy
With political disaffection and social unrest increasing around the world, the Policy Dialogue ‘Democracy and Human Rights in Decline? A Call to Action’ will identify action-orientated proposals to foster democracy in this challenging time. Plenary sessions will be broadcasted through the Club de Madrid website. Click here to see the program and preliminary list of participants
The Policy Dialogue, hosted by the European University Institute, will be a unique political, academic and civil society leaders gathering aimed at producing an analysis of the trends that have impacted democracy in the last 15 years; the signals of decline apparent across the world; and of how to reverse them. The Policy Dialogue will mark the beginning of a process aimed at producing new “democratic action agendas” for various regions of the world and thus improve the quality of the Next Generation’s Democracy around the globe.
Forty Club de Madrid Members (all of them democratically elected former Presidents and Prime Ministers) will provide the political insight. With kick-off contributions from the Club’s President, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, (Latvia) and the RKF Center’s President, Kerry Kennedy, the confirmed lineup will include, among many others, leaders from Europe such as Romano Prodi (Italy); Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway); Tarja Halonen (Finland); Felipe González (Spain); Ruud Lubbers (Netherlands); and Boris Tadic (Serbia). African representatives include Abdul-Kareem Al Eryani (Yemen); Sadiq Al Mahdi (Sudan) Olusegun Obasanjo (Nigeria); and Cassam Uteem (Mauritius). From the Americas: Kim Campbell (Canada); Felipe Calderón (Mexico); Ricardo Lagos (Chile) and Andrés Pastrana (Colombia); and from Asia, Chandrika Kumaratunga (Sri Lanka) and Roza Otunbayeva (Kyrgyzstan).
International experts and practitioners, such as Larry Diamond from Stanford University; Roelf Meyer (former South African Minister under De Klerk and Mandela’s governments and key facilitator of South-African transition to democracy); Beatriz Merino (former Prime Minister of Peru) or Ismail Serageldin, co-chair of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center and Director of the Library of Alexandria; entrepreneurs and philanthropists like Mo Ibrahim and Steve Killelea or the Slifka Foundation; multi-government and multilateral institutions, (UN, OECD, SEGIB, Community of Democracies); human rights organizations (Human Rights Watch); civil society (OXFAM, Partnership for Change); academia (Berstelman Stiftung, IDEA, FLACSO, Carnegie Endowment); and the private sector (Microsoft) will all be well represented in the conference.
The Policy Dialogue will be organized in plenary and break-out sessions. During the first day, working groups will review regional dynamics and main threats to democracy in different regions and propose possible responses. On the second day, participants will share the results of initial analyses, identify commonalities and differences among regions, and define the initial elements of NGD global and regional agenda.
If you are interested in covering the 2014 Policy Dialogue or wish to request one to one interviews please visit http://www.clubmadrid.org/en/programa/policy_dialogue_2014 and fill in the accreditation form in the Press Room Section.
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