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George Soros, Kori Annan, Alejandro Toledo To Address International Democracy Conference
Over 50 major world leaders and thinkers, including philanthropist George Soros, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, will address an audience of 300 civil society leaders from over 80 countries at the World Forum on Democracy in Warsaw, Poland from June 25th to 27th.
Alejandro Toledo, an opposition presidential candidate in Peru's most recent elections who forced, and later pulled out of, a run-off vote against the incumbent Alberto K. Fujimori, will deliver an address at the opening plenary session of the WFD on June 25. His presentation will highlight the urgent threat to democracy and democratic procedures in Peru.
Mr. Toledo will share the stage with George Soros, who will focus on the need to establish an international association of democracies to work in a co-ordinated fashion to promote open societies. American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will outline America's position on the global advance of democracy during a plenary address June 26.
At the forum's closing session on June 27 Secretary General Annan will address the need to create linkages between civil society and governments, and the United Nations' efforts to promote democracy. The World Forum is convening parallel to the Toward a Community of Democracies conference, a meeting in Warsaw of foreign ministers from 100 democratic countries and countries in transition to democracy, convened by Poland, the United States, Mali, the Republic of Korea, India, Chile, and the Czech Republic. Although the World Forum is an independent gathering, participants will engage in joint activities with the foreign ministers meeting, including a plenary session at which the ministers will receive the recommendations of the World Forum. The interaction between the World Forum and the ministerial meeting will result in the highest-level international dialogue on issues of democracy ever undertaken between governments and the non-governmental sector.
The World Forum on Democracy is a joint initiative of Freedom House and the Stefan Batory Foundation. This gathering affords a rare opportunity not only to cover stimulating and important discussion about the state of international democracy, but allows for unparalleled access to many important thinkers, non-governmental leaders and human rights activists in the world today. Members of the press are encouraged to attend and report on conference addresses and plenary sessions and to request interviews with conference speakers.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.