Monday, October 17, 2016

Forum 2000 Conference: The Courage to Take Responsibility

20th Forum 2000 Conference remains as relevant as ever

Forum 2000 asks a central question for participants to reflect on the 20th edition of the Forum 2000 Conference and it is a question that I often ask myself and others when surveying the political landscape today:
The life and work of Václav Havel, an intellectual, an author, a political prisoner, a human rights defender and a president of a country, is an amazing example of democratic leadership and of taking personal responsibility for the state of public affairs and the world as a whole. Nevertheless, today´s democratic leadership seems to be in crisis, contending with a lack of vision, responsibility, and perhaps even courage to lead. Are the current democratic systems unable to generate true leaders? Is the growing authoritarianism in the world a result of the weakness of democratic leadership? Where are the Havels, Churchills, or Mandelas of today?
The gathering officially opened last night in Prague with a keynote address by Andrej Kiska, the President of the Slovak Republic, and archived video of the event is available online here. This morning  the conference gets underway and can be watched live below.

Representing Cuba at this conference are former prisoner of conscience and activist Jorge Olivera Castillo, pro-democracy activist Rosa María Payá of Cuba Decide, former prisoner of conscience and independent lawyer René Gómez Manzano of the Corriente Agramontista. Representing Venezuela is Lawyer and President of New National Awareness Foundation Tamara Suju.  Also long time friend of free Cubans and Venezuelans Gabriel Salvia, of CADAL from Argentina is attending. 

Please use the hashtag #Forum2000 when commenting on the Forum 2000 conference.

Today at 11:15am Central European Time there was a panel on Latin America at Forum 2000 with a distinguished panel outlined below.


11:15 - 12:45 Panel (European House) 
 In cooperation with CASLA Institute

Panel discussion:
Oscar Arias Sánchez, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Former President, Costa Rica
Mauricio Alarcón Salvador, Human Rights Lawyer, Executive Director, Fundación Ciudadanía y Dessarrollo, Ecuador
Axel Kaiser Barents von Hohenhagen, Co-founder and Executive Director, Fundación Para el Progreso, Chile
Alejandro Medinaceli Avila, Activist and Leader, National Unity Front, Bolivia
Rosa María Payá Acevedo, President, Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, Coordinator, Cuba Decide Campaign, Cuba
Mario Lionnet Valenti, Politician, Nicaragua

Moderator: Tamara Sujú, Human Rights Lawyer, Venezuela

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