- News and Notes
Sixth Annual Lipset Lecture
Nathan Glazer, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Education at Harvard University, delivered the sixth annual Seymour Martin Lipset Lecture on Democracy in the World at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on November 4. The lecture was also given at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto on September 24. An article based on the lecture, which was entitled "Democracy and Diversity: Dealing with Deep Divides," will be published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of Democracy.
On October 25–27, the Ukrainian NGO Tovarystvo Leva (Lion Society) organized a conference in Lviv entitled "For Our Freedom and Yours: For Our Common Future!" This conference commemorated the twentieth anniversary of a conference that was held in Wroclaw in November 1989 by the Polish Czech-Slovak Solidarity and helped to launch the Velvet Revolution. The plenary sessions and working groups focused on the accomplishments of the last twenty years but also sought to "anticipate future challenges, build the foundation for further stable common development, and encourage and inspire the next generation of leaders to follow the democratic way paved by their predecessors."
Participants included Vytautas Landsbergis, former Lithuanian head of state; Stanislau Shushkevich, independent Belarus's first head of state; Henryk Wujec of the Polish-Ukrainian Forum in Poland; Carl Gershman of NED; and Ivan Drach, Ukrainian politician and poet. A number of other political figures from Belarus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom also spoke at the event. Cosponsors included the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, Europe XXI, PASOS, [End Page 181] the East West Institute, and the National Endowment for Democracy.
Initiatives for China organized its fifth Interethnic/Interfaith Leadership Conference on October 8–10 in Washington, D.C. The conference's theme was "Understanding, Respect, Cooperation," and sessions focused on reducing ethnic and religious tensions in China, nonviolence, and Internet freedom.
Participants included Ngapa Tsegyam of the Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Rebiya Kadeer of the World Uyghur Congress, Togochog Enghebatu of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, Leung Kwokhung of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, and eleven Han Chinese intellectuals from Mainland China who had signed Charter 08. Participants issued a concluding statement (see http://initiativesforchina.org/the-fifth-conference-info-page/) calling for nonviolent resolution of ethnic and religious tensions and for the restoration of the rule of law in China.
Rafto Prize to Azeri Journalist
On November 1, Malahat Nasibova, a journalist for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Azerbaijani Service, received the Rafto Prize "for her courageous and unwavering struggle for a free and independent press." Nasibova, a human rights activist who reports on human rights violations and abuse of power in her native province of Nakhichevan, was recognized for reporting under extreme circumstances, even when her life was in danger. The prize, a human rights award established in memory of professor Thorolf Rafto, is given annually in Bergen, Norway, by the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights.
The Dalai Lama Receives the Lantos Award
The Dalai Lama received the first Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, D.C., on October 6. Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi presented the award on behalf of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, named after the late Rep. Tom Lantos, former chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and cofounder of the Human Rights Caucus. The goal of the award is to "to honor and bring attention to the often unsung heroes of the human rights movement." Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor in Congress, died of cancer in February 2008.
Paris Conference on 1989
On October 22–23, the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris (Sciences-Po) organized a conference entitled "1989: A Global Event?" Participants included Pierre Hassner of Sciences-Po, former Polish minister of finance Leszek Balcerowicz, Thomas Carothers of the Carnegie [End Page 182] Endowment for International Peace, Ivan Krastev of the Center for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, and Jacques Rupnik of Sciences-Po. During a ceremony at the opening of the conference, the school presented former Czech president Václav Havel with an honorary doctorate. For...