- News and Notes
Jan Nowak (1913–2005)
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was a dedicated democracy advocate and one of Poland's most honored freedom fighters. During World War II, Nowak (born Zdzisław Jeziorański; Jan Nowak was a wartime pseudonym) became known as the "Courier from Warsaw," serving as an emissary carrying news and information of Nazi atrocities between the commanders of the Home Army and the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. In 1944, he participated in the Warsaw Uprising.
After the war, Nowak founded and led the Polish Service at Radio Free Europe, turning it into the main source of outside news for Poles under communism despite the Soviet Union's efforts to jam the station's signal. Upon his retirement from Radio Free Europe in 1976, Nowak moved to the United States, where he served as a consultant to the National Security Council under presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. In the 1980s, he played a crucial role in helping to solidify U.S. support for the Polish Solidarity movement and other prodemocracy groups, serving as an informal advisor to the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański was awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1996 and the NED's Democracy Service Medal in 2002. He was the author of many books, including 63 Days: The Story of the Warsaw Rising (1945) and Courier from Warsaw (1982). He had returned to live in Poland in 2002 and passed away in Warsaw on 20 February 2005.
Meeting in Bratislava
A conference entitled "A New Quest for Democracy: Shaping an Agenda for the Euro-Atlantic Community" was held on February 23 in Bratislava just before the meeting there of presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. Organized by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association [End Page 185] and the Institute for Public Affairs in cooperation with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the meeting brought together democracy activists, analysts, and policy makers from Central and Eastern Europe, leading experts from the United States and Western Europe, as well as representatives of international organizations and leaders of opposition movements in Belarus and Moldova.
Speakers included Slovak prime minister Mikulá¡s Dzurinda; former Slovak ambassador to the United States Martin Butora; NED president Carl Gershman (whose speech is available at www.ned.org); Ivan Krastev, Centre for Liberal Strategies (Bulgaria); and Jacques Rupnik, Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques (France). The topics of the four panel discussions were: "The Slovak Path to Democracy and Euro-Atlantic Integration," "The Recent Wave of Democratic Change," "The Future of Democracy in Wider Europe," and "A New Democracy Agenda for the Euro-Atlantic Community." For more information on the conference, see www.sfpa.sk/en/ and www.ivo.sk.
Human Rights Experts Meet in Seoul
On February 14–16, human rights experts from Korea, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, and Poland gathered in Seoul for the 6th International Conference on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees, organized by the Citizens' Alliance for North Korean Human Rights. Keynote speeches were delivered by Andrzej Rzepliński of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in North Korea and by Choong-Hyun Paik of the Korean Society for Human Rights Law. Former president of the Czech Republic Václav Havel and speaker of Korea's National Assembly Kwan-Yong Park affirmed their support for the conference via written messages. The conference resulted in a resolution calling for North Korea and the People's Republic of China to abide by international agreements on human rights and refugees. The full text of the resolution is available at www.nkhumanrights.or.kr.
NDI Democracy Awards
The National Democratic Institute (NDI) celebrated its 20th anniversary by "paying tribute to an era of democratic transformation through the eyes of those from different regions of the world who experienced its struggles and successes." On December 6, it presented its annual W. Averell Harriman Democracy Awards to individuals who have contributed to the cause of democracy and human rights around the world. Recipients were President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal, President Xanana Gusm~ao of East Timor, Prime...