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US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Praises World Forum Participants
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright addressed the World Forum on Democracy today, praising the participants of the non-governmental gathering for their efforts to further the cause of democratization.
Albright is in Warsaw to attend the Community of Democracies conference, a meeting of one hundred foreign ministers of democratic countries. Her visit and speech at the World Forum underlined the growing importance of the need for increased cooperation between governments and civil society.
"You are engaged in trailblazing work in every field of endeavor in every region of the world," said Albright to a capacity filled auditorium at a Warsaw conference center. "I am delighted that this Forum could be conducted in parallel with the first Community of Democracies meeting of foreign ministers. Because one of the great lessons we have learned is that when public and nongovernmental organizations pull together, we can lift the lives of people everywhere."
Over 50 major world leaders and thinkers, are participating along with an audience of 300 civil society leaders from over 80 countries at the World Forum from June 25th to 27th. 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 are engaging 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.
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.