Hariri Center Director Michele Dunne and Senior Fellow Amy Hawthorne reflect on US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the two years since President Barack Obama promised to make it a top priority to support democracy and human rights in the region.
J. Peter Pham, director the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, was one of four experts invited to address a high-level international conference on the crisis in the Sahel region convened today in The Hague.
Rudolph Atallah, senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Michael S. Ansari Africa Center, testified at a House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing on “The Growing Crisis in Africa’s Sahel Region.”
On the heels of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to the United States, Energy & Environment Program Associate Director Mihaela Carstei joins CTV to discuss the Keystone Pipeline project that would transport tar sands oil from Canada and the northern United States to refineries in the Gulf coast of Texas.
On July 2-4, at the High-Level Democracy Meeting (HLDM) celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Community of Democracies (CoD) in Krakow, the Atlantic Council brought together 80 emerging young diplomats and activists from around the world for the Young Diplomats for Democracy (YDD) symposium. The success of the Krakow Symposium led to a follow-up event in Washington, DC in September, which featured speeches by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senator John McCain, President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, Representative Howard L. Berman, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Irena Degutiene, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament David Bakradze, and other high-level parliamentarians and diplomats.
At the gathering, YDD delegates urged the CoD and its member states to engage youth in their efforts to support democracy around the world. Specifically, the Young Diplomats for Democracy called for the establishment of a youth pillar within the CoD, and for greater consultation with youth in all CoD initiatives.
YDD delegates, representing over 40 countries in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, presented the following recommendations to the Community of Democracies:
- To establish a youth pillar within the CoD and ensure youth representation at every level, including ministerial and working group meetings of the CoD;
- To ensure that CoD initiatives are implemented in partnership with youth NGOs and diplomats from the YDD network in targeted countries;
- To promote transparency, information exchange, and awareness of all CoD governmental and parliamentary initiatives among youth representatives of the CoD through web networking and communications.
The recommendations, also presented at the Democracy Days meeting in Vilnius hosted by the Lithuanian presidency of the CoD, were endorsed by YDD diplomats and activists in Krakow.
Organized by the Atlantic Council of the United States (ACUS), in partnership with the CoD Permanent Secretariat and the European Institute for Democracy (EID), YDD brought together delegates for discussions on democracy tactics used by new generation activists, including the role of new media and new tactics to promote human rights, transparency, and free and fair elections. In addition to special panel discussions, delegates attended the high-level sessions of the anniversary gathering and networked with senior government and NGO representatives gathered in Krakow. They also heard from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and founder of the Community of Democracies Madeleine Albright, and Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski.
After Krakow, YDD delegates will use social networking tools, including a YDD Facebook page, to share tools and best practices and establish a global network of young democratic leaders in partnership with the Community of Democracies. The Krakow event is also featured on the Young Atlanticist website.
Related Young Diplomats for Democracy Links:
- NED Supports Participation of Young Activists and Diplomats in the Community of Democracies (National Endowment for Democracy)
- Young Diplomats for Democracy (Community of Democracies)
- A Community of Democracies Network (European Institute for Democracy)
2010 Democracy Video Challenge:
Related Press Coverage:
This event was generously supported by:
Henry Catto and the Catto Charitable Foundation
The National Endowment for Democracy
Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies
Trackback URL for this post:
On May 23, the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Peace and Security Initiative at the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security is hosting a panel discussion on new developments in security cooperation among the United States, its European allies, and the Gulf states, and how they are likely to evolve in the coming years.
On May 30, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will release a new issue brief, The Kaleidoscope Turns Again in a Crisis-Challenged Iran, a discussion of Iran’s upcoming presidential elections.
From June 13-14, the 2013 Wrocław Global Forum will bring together over 350 top policy-makers and business leaders to explore the region’s impact as an actor in Europe, as well as its crucial role in the transatlantic partnership and on the global stage.