News and Notes

Issue Date July 2012
Volume 23
Issue 3
Page Numbers 186-188
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Journal of Democracy: Edicão em Português

On May 15, the São Paulo– based Fernando Henrique Cardoso Institute hosted a panel discussion to celebrate the launch of an online Portuguese-language edition of the Journal called the Journal of Democracy: Edicão em Português. Participants discussed the relationship between media and democracy in Latin America. Speakers included former Bolivian president Carlos Mesa; former Ecuadorian president Osvaldo Hurtado; Rubén Aguilar, former spokesman for the Mexican presidency; and Eugênio Bucci, former president of Radiobras, the public Brazilian media company.

The Cardoso Institute and the Rio de Janeiro–based Edelstein Center for Social Research will jointly produce the Portuguese edition, composed exclusively of articles translated from the English-language edition of the Journal. It will appear semi-annually in May and October. For online access, please visit: www.plataformademocratica.org/English/PublicacoesPlataforma.aspx.

Fang Lizhi (1936–2012)

On April 6, Fang Lizhi, a distinguished Chinese astrophysicist and activist who emerged in the 1980s as China’s most eloquent advocate of democracy and academic freedom, passed away. A popular speaker among Chinese students, he was charged by the Communist leadership with inciting the prodemocracy student demonstrations at many of the country’s universities in the winter of 1986–87. He sought political asylum in the United States after the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. The Journal published two articles by him in 1990 and 1991. He later became a professor of physics at the University of Arizona, where he remained until the end of his life. [End Page 186]

30th Anniversary of Reagan’s Westminster Address

On June 5, the National Endowment for Democracy, together with the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, organized a conference entitled “Democracy in the World After Thirty Years,” at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, marking the thirtieth anniversary of Reagan’s 8 June 1982 speech to the British Parliament.

Participants included former U.S. secretaries of state Madeleine Albright and George Shultz; former president of Peru Alejandro Toledo; and four leading U.S.-based activists working to foster democracy in their countries of origin: Xiao Qiang (China), Radwan Masmoudi (Tunisia), Birtukan Midekssa (Ethiopia), and Myroslava Gongadze (Ukraine).

Wrocław Global Forum

On May 31–June 2, the city of Wrocław, Poland, hosted the Wrocław Global Forum 2012, co-organized with the Atlantic Council. The conference, entitled “Reinventing the West: Prosperity, Security and Democracy at Risk?” brought together politicians, diplomats, academics, and other experts.

Participants included former Polish president Lech Wałę U.S. special envoy for strategic stability and missile defense Ellen Tauscher; EU commissioner Štefan Füle of the Czech Republic; Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski; former German president Horst Köhler; Hédi Ben Abbes of the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; former Spanish foreign minister Ana Palacio; and British historian Norman Davies.

At the conference’s conclusion, the Atlantic Council presented its annual Freedom Awards to Władysław Bartoszewski, Polish historian and WWII resistance fighter and chairman of the International Auschwitz Council; Moncef Marzouki, interim president of Tunisia on behalf of the people of Tunisia; Emma Bonino, Italian parliamentarian and trustee of the Arab Democracy Foundation; and Carl Gershman on behalf of the NED. For more information, please see www.wgf2012.eu.

UN’s Global Principles for Election Observation

On April 3 in New York, the United Nations hosted the public launch of the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organizations. NDI chairman Madeleine Albright, UN undersecretary-general Lynn Pascoe, OAS assistant secretary-general Albert R. Ramdin, and OSCE/ODIHR director Janez Lenarčič spoke at the event, underscoring the importance of citizen election monitoring.

For more information and the text of the declaration, please visit: www.gndem.org/declaration-of-global-principles. [End Page 187]

NED’s International Forum

On May 17, the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows program celebrated its tenth anniversary with an event at the U.S. Capitol. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Gregory Meeks (D-NY), and David Dreier (R-CA) gave remarks. Former and current Reagan-Fascell Fellows Myroslava Gongadze (Ukraine), Norman-do Hernández (Cuba), Birtukan Midekssa (Ethiopia), and Radwan Ziadeh (Syria) spoke about the impact of the program on their lives and careers.

On March 29, the Forum organized a luncheon on “Constitution-Making, Electoral Design, and the Arab Spring,” featuring Andrew Reynolds of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and John Carey of Dartmouth College, who coauthored articles in recent issues of the Journal of Democracy on election systems in the Arab world. Donald L. Horowitz of Duke University offered comments.

On May 23, the Forum, together with NED’s Africa Program, hosted a small roundtable discussion entitled “Ethiopia, the International Community, and Democracy,” with the participation of experts on Ethiopia, scholars of democratization, and Ethiopian democrats.

On June 18, the Forum was scheduled to host an event celebrating the publication of The Next Generation in Russia, Ukraine, and Azerbaijan: Youth, Politics, Identity, and Culture by Nadia Diuk, vice president at NED. After remarks by the author, Sharon Wolchik of George Washington University was to offer comments.

The Forum hosted several luncheon meetings this spring featuring Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows.

On May 2, Malik Siraj Akbar, a Pakistani journalist from Balochistan, gave a presentation entitled “Threats to Defenders of Democracy in Balochistan.” Brian Joseph of NED commented.

On May 22, Darko Brkan, founding president of Zašto ne (Why Not), a Sarajevo-based nongovernmental organization that promotes civic activism, government accountability, and the use of digital media in deepening democracy, gave a talk entitled “Creating a Civic Constituency in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” Ivana Howard of NED offered comments.

On June 13, independent journalist Normando Hernández was scheduled to give a presentation entitled “Promoting Citizen Journalism: Opportunities for Change in Cuba.” One of 75 prisoners of conscience jailed during Cuba’s infamous “Black Spring” of 2003, he was exiled to Spain in 2010. Brandon Yoder of NED was scheduled to comment.

On June 14, B. Tsering, a Tibetan women’s rights activist and member of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile, was scheduled to give a talk entitled “Empowering Tibetan Women in Exile.” Wilson Lee of NED was to offer comments.

In June, the Forum welcomed a new Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, Nadira Isaeva (Russia). [End Page 188]