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Journal of Democracy 12.1 (2001) 189-192

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News and Notes

World Movement for Democracy

The Second Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy met in Sao Paulo on November 12-15 for four days of intensive discussions about how to advance freedom and democracy around the world. More than 400 leading democrats from more than 80 countries shared their experiences in fighting for political change and offered solidarity, support, and advice to others who are facing similar struggles elsewhere in the world. The theme of the Assembly was "Confronting the Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century."

The main work of the Assembly was undertaken in more than 25 topical workshops that engaged participants across different geographic regions and areas of expertise. Other workshops were conducted on a regional or functional basis. Participants included activists, thinkers, and practitioners from political parties, trade unions, business associations, nongovernmental organizations, research institutes, civic-education organizations, anticorruption groups, and democracy-support foundations, as well as parliamentarians and government officials with a special interest in democracy.

The meeting opened with a key-note address by Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso (see the text on pp. 5-14 above). On the evening of November 14, participants paid tribute to five groups (selected by the World Movement steering committee) carrying out some of the most challenging work being pursued in the cause of democracy today. These five "Democracy Courage Tributes" sought to draw attention to the struggles of groups working in particularly difficult circumstances and often without much global recognition. The recipients were the democratic mayors of Colombia, the Tiananmen Mothers' Network, the LAM Center for Research and Popularization of Che-chen Culture, Iran's prodemocracy [End Page 189] student movement, and the civil-society movement of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

A full report on the Second Assembly, including the recommendations of the participants based on the topical, regional, and functional workshops, will be posted on the World Movement website ( within the next several months. In the meantime, for additional information about the World Movement for Democracy or the Sao Paulo Assembly, please contact or send a fax to (202) 862-6456.

Awards Recognize Journalists

On November 1, the Committee to Protect Journalists held its tenth annual awards ceremony in New York, with NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw as host. Recipients of this year's International Press Freedom Award included Zeljiko Kopanja, cofounder and editor of Nezavisne Novine, the largest independent Serb daily in Bosnia-Herzogovina; Steven Gan, editor of Malaysiakini, an online publication based in Malaysia; Mashallah Shamsol-vaezin, editor of several reformist newspapers in Iran that are currently banned by Iran's Islamic government; and Modeste Mutinga, publisher of Le Potentiel, the sole independent daily in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The recipients were selected for "their courage and independence in reporting the news." For additional information, visit

On September 28, the World Press Review put a spotlight on Sierra Leone at its 25th annual "International Editor of the Year" awards ceremony in New York, dubbing the country "the most dangerous . . . for journalists." The three Sierra Leonean editors honored at the function were David Tam-Baryoh of Punch, Philip Neville of the Standard Times, and Paul Kam-ara of For di People, each of whom has been arrested and detained by the government on numerous occasions. Presenting the award on behalf of the World Press Review was Olara A. Otunnu, UN Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict. For more information, please visit

New Coalition of Asian Democrats

Following a meeting of democrats and reformers from across Asia, the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA) was formally established in Bangkok on October 8. It is dedicated to the advancement of democracy, human rights, good governance, and the rule of law across Asia and throughout the world. One of ARDA's first actions was to send a letter to foreign ministers of the ASEAN countries calling on them to resolve the political crisis in Burma and expressing support for Burmese democracy leader...


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